Cali mayor suspended for failing to attend council meetings

Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office suspended Cali Mayor Jorge Ivan Ospina Wednesday for six months for failing to attend council meetings, reported newspaper El Pais.

Ospina failed to attend several meetings of the Municipal Council of Social Policy in 2008 and 2009 — a breach of the Code for Children and Adolescents, which obligates the mayor to chair the council.

According to the public ministry, Ospina’s behavior constituted a failure of his duties as mayor. His offense was classified as “serious; done with gross negligence,” as he allegedly ignored his governmental role in improving public policy for Colombia’s youth.

The Cali mayor said he was surprised by the news of his suspension and did not expect such a strong penalty from the Inspector General’s Office. He explained that he did not attend the meetings because he had “other commitments” on his social and public service agenda.

Although Ospina argued that his administration had complied with all public policies concerning children and adolescents, the Inspector General’s Office said that the mayor failed in his responsibilities of monitoring plans, projects, programs and strategies aimed at implementing those public policies.

Ospina has three days to file an appeal, according to the head of the Office of the Mayor’s Legal Department, Maria del Pilar Cano.

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