Colombia’s inspector general fired the administrative head of the Senate for unfairly awarding a $3 million contract to remodel the senate chambers, local media reported Friday.
Omar Velasquez manipulated public documents to state that an unnamed company was the only contractor capable of buying, installing and maintaining the computer systems for the Colombian Senate, according to the prosecutors office, which banned Velasquez from public service 12 years for the offense.
Velasquez did not allow other companies to submit contract proposals to the Senate, the prosecutors said. This is not the first time he has favored this company. In the past, Velasquez granted the company two separate contracts of $1.4 million and $170,000 for a different sort of remodeling work–buying and refurbishing Senate furniture.
The Colombian Senate elected Velasquez to his administrative post five years ago.
He told El Tiempo newspaper that his lawyer would appeal the decision on Monday. “I am calm,” he said in response to the charges. “I have evidence that proves my innocence. I remain confident in justice.”