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Report: Puerto Rico Senate Made ‘Extravagant’ Purchases


San Juan, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s Comptroller’s Office released a report Wednesday saying the island’s Senate made nearly $30,000 in “extravagant, excessive and wasteful” purchases from 2013 to 2020.

The report comes as the US territory attempts to emerge from the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history and remains under the watchful eye of a federal board of control overseeing the island’s finances. Puerto Rico declared in 2015 that it was unable to pay its public debt of over $70 billion.

The report revealed that the items purchased included a sofa worth $2,545, two chandeliers worth $1,200 each, three chairs worth $675 each, two laptops worth over $9 $000 and an $870 console, among others.

The comptroller’s office said it was unclear whether efforts had been made to contact the Senate warehouse to see if it had any of the furniture sought by an unidentified former lawmaker. .

Additionally, $8,200 was spent to purchase 225 red jerseys for a 2015 sporting event that already included official jerseys, according to the report.

“This expense turned out to be unnecessary, as it was of no benefit to the public,” the report said.

The office also found that the Senate paid more than $16,000 to update systems online, but these were never installed.

The report says the Senate wrongfully spent nearly $75,000 on medical insurance for 10 police officers serving as bodyguards for political leaders when those officers already had their own insurance through the police department.

The report made various recommendations, including that the President of the Senate ensure that such expenses are not repeated.

Those who served as president of the Puerto Rico Senate during the years covered by the Comptroller’s investigation could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for current Senate President José Luis Dalmau said he was not immediately available for comment.

ABC News

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