FBI agents raided San Juan’s municipal building on Tuesday amid an investigation into purchasing practices used by city officials, including Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
Video posted on Twitter shows several uniformed FBI agents proceeding into the building Tuesday morning. Local journalist Luis Guardiola noted in a tweet that “dozens” of FBI agents were involved in the raid.
Decenas de agentes del FBI ocupan el 15to piso de la Torre Municipal. Asi llegaron esta mañana los federales. pic.twitter.com/z3h1CObwLp
— Luis Guardiola (@GuardiolaTwitt) October 16, 2018
A spokesman for the agency told news service elnuevodia.com that Tuesday’s raid was related to an ongoing investigation into whether the mayor’s office and other city officials had shown favoritism when the city agreed to a contract with the company BR Solutions for $4.7 million over two years.
BR Solutions is owned by Leonel Pereira O’Neill, a Puerto Rican businessman who has donated to the campaigns of several local politicians, including Cruz’s, according to the news service.
“The raid helps us to confirm whether the allegations of irregularities are substantiated or not,” FBI spokesman Carlos Osario told the website.
“We are filling out a search warrant, looking for documents and evidence that can support the allegation [of favoritism],” he added.
The raid came several weeks after President Trump singled out Cruz while attacking Puerto Rican officials for the slow recovery efforts on the island, accusing the municipal officials of allowing widespread corruption.
“It was a total mess, it was corrupt — couldn’t be worse,” Trump said in an interview last month. “The storms hit and they said, ‘Oh let’s blame Trump for the electric, let’s have Trump — let’s have Trump fix the electric plant,’ which takes a long time to rebuild it, which is a big deal.”
Cruz reacted to the raid in a series of tweets Tuesday morning, pledging her office’s full cooperation with authorities.
“At the moment, members of the FBI are intervening in the Municipal Tower of San Juan. My instructions as always are of total collaboration,” Cruz wrote in Spanish on Twitter.
“At this time, I do not have more information. We all have the duty to collaborate to clarify this situation. If someone has done something wrong, must be subjected to a due process and face the consequences of their actions, ” she added.