Under public pressure from political allies and facing the prospects of a criminal investigation, Undersecretary to the Presidency Valentín Díaz Gilligan tendered his resignation last night while maintaining his innocence and promising to clear his name.
To refresh your memory, Díaz Gilligan was named late last week in an investigation by Spanish newspaper El País as being linked to US $1.2 million held in an undeclared Andorran bank account.
In his resignation letter, the now former undersecretary said that he was resigning to avoid “a media debate” about his actions, and that this would help reduce the pressure on the government. Read the full letter below:
El País reported that Díaz Gilligan hid US $1.2 million in a bank account in Andorra, a country which, until last year, had banking secrecy laws and was considered to be a tax haven. The account was opened in 2012 and remained active until at least 2014, a period of time during which Díaz Gilligan held different posts in the Buenos Aires City administration (coinciding with current President Mauricio Macri’s term as mayor). The account belonged to a company called Line Action, of which Díaz Gilligan was director and shareholder.
The former undersecretary told the Spanish newspaper that the money was not his, and that he was only involved in the company as a favor to a friend. The friend in question, he said, was Francisco “Paco” Casal, a renowned businessman who manages football players and who is also the owner of sports TV channel ‘GolTV.’
Yesterday, Cambiemos figures increased the pressure on Díaz Gilligan, urging him to step aside, pending investigation. Immediately after the allegations broke, Chief of Staff Fernando de Andreis (Díaz Gilligan’s supervisor) had expressed confidence in the explanations given by the undersecretary. In addition to this, Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña noted that “no one will be protected from any accusations,” and that all necessary investigations will remain unhindered.
The Anti-Corruption Office is now investigating the case, and its head Laura Alonso told news agency Télam yesterday that it would continue its work regardless of the resignation.