A Colombian senator has been removed and disqualified from serving in public office for 10 years after abusing his position as an official to avoid an alcohol test while driving, reported local media Wednesday.
Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office has charged Senator Eduardo Carlos Merlano of using his position as a congressman to abuse the normal process traffic cops would undertake by refusing to take a breathalyzer test to prove whether or not he was driving under the influence of alcohol, reported newspaper El Espectador.
According to the ruling of inspector delegate Maria Eugenia Carreño which lasted more than five hours, the behavior of the now ex-senator, “seriously affected the principles of the civil service.”
The principal arguments presented by Carreño indicate the senator in violations of due process, lack of functional duty, lack of competence by refusing to let police take his vehicle, and unusual behavior, reported Terra. According to gathered evidence, it was determined that Merlano used his official position to interfere with the normal judicial process and refused to take the alcohol test.
The former senator “realized various actions to avoid authorities confiscating his vehicle such as persuading the agents of public order, manifesting constantly that he was a senate of the Republic and that he had pulled 50,000 votes,” according to the investigation.
Merlano had also claimed that he had been mistreated by the police, but no evidence of any such actions has been found by the investigation. On the contrary, the inspector delegate determined that the ex-senator had committed “acts of threat” against the police agents “to challenge them by saying that he was going to write down their license plate number and file a complaint.”