Colombia’s inspector general on Tuesday suspended Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno for alleged irregularities he found while investigating the mayor’s involvement in a growing public works corruption scandal.
Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez suspended Moreno for three months after uncovering apparent irregularities in the awarding of public works projects to the disgraced Nule Group construction firm, particularly over a 2009 TransMilenio construction contract that has yet to be initiated.
Ordoñez has asked President Juan Manuel Santos to appoint an interim replacement mayor, who is to be selected from Moreno’s same political party, Polo Democratico.
The former president of the Polo Democratico party, Carlos Gaviria Diaz, recommended the resignation of the Bogota leader telling Caracol Radio Tuesday, “I think that what he should do is withdraw from the exercise of office.”
Samuel Moreno is implicated in the scandal along with his brother, ex-Senator Ivan Moreno, former Liberal Party congressman German Olano and the city comptroller Miguel Angel Moralesrussi, as well as several other Bogota officials.
The mayor’s brother was arrested April 28 at his Bogota home on corruption charges and ex-congressman German Olano turned himself in to Bogota police at the city’s airport on May 2 after an arrest warrant had been issued.
Moralesrussi has already been sentenced to a minimum of eight years in prison, while the Nule Group directors are currently facing formal charges of embezzlement by appropriation, fraud, misrepresentation, bribery and conspiracy.