Thursday, January 4, 2007

Santini says he’s called for probe of AIDS program before

By The STAR Staff

San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini said
Wednesday that he has called in the
past for an investigation into the San
Juan AIDS program and misdoings by people
in the program that have allegedly
affected client services.
The mayor also asked federal authorities
to investigate the quasi-public Corporation
for the Economic Development of the
Capital City.
During a visit to city AIDS program facilities
that were raided by the FBI on Tuesday,
he also accused officials in the previous City
Hall administration of possible wrongdoing.
Former Mayor Sila Calderón and administration
officials “are going to have to talk.
They’re going to have to talk a lot,” he said in
a televised interview.
On Tuesday, the FBI raided four San Juan
AIDS program offices and seized thousands
of documents as the federal authorities
investigate potential misuse of Ryan White
As recently as last June, Santini said, he
made public his support for an investigation
into the program.
Santini said Wednesday he now hopes federal
authorities will raid the Corporation for
the Economic Development of the Capital
City, as he has requested. He said he made
the request in September 2005 after an
internal audit turned up alleged irregularities.
The Comptroller’s Office has also been
critical of the entity.
“In this case, I am also on the record with
them,” Santini said of federal authorities.
“Now it’s up to them to follow through and
investigate what we already have audited.”
In June, Santini said that “playing with the
destiny and health of HIV patients is a lack
of respect and an abuse that demonstrates
crass insensitivity,” he said in a statement
Now, “time has shown that I was right,” he
said. “Once more, the people can see our
efforts. I want a healthy administration, I’m
not here to hide anything.He who does bad,
whether from this or from the past administration,
has to pay — and I think Sila
Calderón and her colleagues will have a lot
to explain.”
Santini has said he instigated the investigation
that discovered corruption in the San
Juan Section 8 Housing program.
During his visit to the offices Wednesday,
Santini expressed support for employees.
“Although I don’t have to, I ask for their
forgiveness for the treatment they received
[Tuesday]; that’s the way [federal agents]
act,” he said.
San Juan receives about $15 million in federal
funds a year under the Ryan White
Comprehensive AIDS Resources Act program,
and AIDS activists have long complained
about problems with services, mistreatment
and alleged misuse of the

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