Over the past few days, nine employees have testified regarding their time working full-time for former Public Works Secretary José López, who was caught trying to hide roughly US$9 million in a convent that turned out not to be a convent, helped by nuns who turned out not to be nuns back in June. His former employees were summoned to testify in the case against him for illicit enrichment: six drivers, a former private secretary, a receptionist and a Head of Protocol all talked about their experiences under López.
Ever wished that the job description had been clearer before you even applied? You don’t want to know what these guys have allegedly been through.
Although many of these are random, the implications could be huge and serve to add to the image of López who used state resources for his own personal ends. All of the drivers who testified agreed they were forced to carry out extra-official duties, with domestic errands as basic as “going to the butcher’s or the pharmacy,” while the state — i.e. taxpayers’ money — paid for overtime.
The testimonies also show the close links between López and the convent where he tried to hide the US$9 million. Between fixing the Mother Superior’s wheelchair and one driver taking López and former Planning Minister Julio de Vido to the convent with both their wives it is clear that the former official’s ties to the institution ran deep.
López is currently being charged with illicit enrichment due to the US$9 million and is also being investigated regarding his house in Tigre, where he hid the bags filled with bundles of dollars, euros, yuan and Qatari ryials, among other valuables before taking them to the convent. He has been in jail for the past two months and is apparently set to testify to fully explain the origins of the money as soon as he has “the necessary physical and psychological strength.”