Illegal association and impossible overtime: a lawsuit against Reginato and 34 senior officials

The libel points to an illicit association set up within the municipality, then chaired by Virginia Reginato, to defraud the fiscal coffers by performing overtime beyond those physically possible. In other words, “they assigned more than 24 hours of working hours, between extra and ordinary.” The list of defendants includes 34 heads of service, the ex-mayor Reginato herself and her right-hand man, María Angélica Maldonado. This morning will be defined the closure or not of the investigation that substantiates the Anticorruption Unit of the Valparaíso Prosecutor’s Office. The details are revealed by the BioBioChile Research Unit.

An extension of the complaint for illicit association and fraud against the treasury was filed by the complainant lawyer in the so-called Extra Hours case, against senior officials of the former Virginia Reginato administration in Viña del Mar.

It is a libel – to which the BioBioChile Research Unit– Against 34 heads of service, the former mayor of the garden city herself, in addition to her right-hand man and former chief of staff, María Angélica Maldonado.

Read the complaint

As stipulated in the legal action filed before the Viñamarino Guarantee Court, all officials are accused of set up an organization destined to commit crimes inside the building.

In the 17-page presentation, Gómez argues that all union chiefs assigned overtime to their dependency staff beyond a possible limit to perform, according to what emerges from an administrative summary carried out by the Comptroller General of the Republic in the municipality.

The cusp

According to the complaint, there was a “permanent and hierarchical order of the organization.” In the first level, the former mayor Reginato and María Angélica Maldonado are mentioned.

The then communal chief was the one who signed the overtime decrees, therefore “she is the first person responsible for the fraud”, reads the document presented by the president of the Viña Transparente Foundation.

Maldonado, meanwhile, “was the one who made the political decisions,” he adds.

In the second echelon are the middle managers. That is, the 34 heads of service who, according to Gómez, determined overtime beyond what is physically possible.

In other words, “more than 24 hours of work, between overtime and ordinary hours,” explains the complainant.

“Other officials have committed crimes by omission, where the guarantor or supervising officials are, who have the duty to ensure the caution of the municipal patrimony,” he adds. Among them are the legal, control and finance directors.

On the last step, meanwhile, are 443 employees of the communal administration who received money for the assigned overshifts. All of them mentioned by name and surname in the Comptroller’s report that confirmed the complaints six years ago.

Javier Gómez, plaintiff attorney.

The audience

Thus, through the complaint, Gómez also requested a series of proceedings, including the taking of statements from a score of officials of the Comptroller’s Office, former municipal employees and councilors of the commune.

It also requests that an audit of overtime from 2010 to 2019 be ordered to the Economic Crimes Brigade (Bridec) of the PDI, in order to “determine the amounts unduly paid.”

With this presentation it is also sought expand the number of officials investigated in this case, which is the substance of the Anticorruption Unit of the Valparaíso Prosecutor’s Office, prior to the hearing to finalize the closure of the investigation that will be carried out this morning.

Currently they are formalized Pablo Staig, then municipal administrator; Manuel Echevarría, director of the Finance area; and Javier Vásquez, accountant and civil servant of the building house.

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