Panama City Mayor Bosco Vallarino is being investigated by anti-corruption prosecutors for issuing a check worth $4,000 to his wife in August, and is facing an audit for side stepping the bidding process when issuing contracts.
The Mayor spent Friday morning heading an operation targeting businesses on Via Espana for using space for parking, closer than 20 ft from the roadside and said that businesses breaking the rules would be charged a monthly fee of $50.
His last sortie heading an investigative team was when he raided a spa, alleged to be operating as a sex parlor.
La Prensa quotes official sources saying that Vallarino refused to receive a subpoena from the judicial secretary of the District Attorney’s Office seeking information about the the check investigation.
The investigation began when the Comptroller’s Office rejected an attempt by Vallarino to reimburse his wife for expenses she incurred while on a trip to Taiwan.
The Comptroller said that the check should not have been issued because the mayor’s wife was not eligible for such reimbursement because she is not a government official.
Vallarino had said previously, that the check was issued "in error."
The mayor is also facing scrutiny from the Comptroller’s Office over nearly $1 million no-bid contracts issued for Christmas decorations for the city.
The comptroller found that Vallarino had business ties with two of he companies that had received contracts.
His response to all of hits according to Telemetro is that the investigators quickly finish their job and that he and his staff were available to ensure that “everything is handled in accordance with the law."