A post from War Against All Puerto Ricans claimed that former Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño was the subject of a new lawsuit linking him to falsifying lab results in the 1990s and receiving political kickbacks:
Latino Rebels reached out to Fortuño to confirm if the information cited above is correct. It is not. This is what Fortuño spokesperson Michelle Cuevas told us:
We can confirm that said person is indeed somebody else and is in no way directly related to former Governor Fortuño. Former Governor Fortuño has never worked as a Lab Director. He is an attorney by profession and has had a successful career as a corporate lawyer working in various distinguished law firms before and after his participation in public service.
Fortuño’s current bio lists the following information about his career during the 1990s:
Following law school graduation, Mr. Fortuño joined the corporate practice of a leading Puerto Rico law firm. In 1993, he was appointed executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and president of Puerto Rico’s Hotel Development Corporation. In 1994, Mr. Fortuño was appointed Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, a position he held until 1997, when he returned to private practice for another eight years. During his time at the law practice, he negotiated the privatization of bus services in parts of Puerto Rico, the sale of government-owned hotels, and myriad commercial and real estate financing transactions.
He made a name for himself in the legal world of corporate finance, and in 1993 he was appointed executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, where he worked to attract new business to the island. In 1994 PNP governor Pedro Rosselló selected Fortuño to lead Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce, an umbrella agency that was responsible for the oversight of several government bureaus.
In addition, Fortuño’s son also said that his father never worked as a lab director anywhere. Another lawsuit in 2000 mentions the other Luis Fortuño, the same one who was mentioned in the new lawsuit. The 2000 lawsuit says the the following:
Luis Fortuño became Negrón’s direct supervisor in 1993, during a period of dramatic increase in the volume of lab work. In addition to the increased workload, the appellee was often under pressure to rerun lab results that were out of specification. The company received complaints from clients when lab results did not meet their expectations. In response, management personnel met with Negrón, but she refused to change or review results that were properly obtained.
During 1993-1994, Miriam Estrada, Fortuño’s secretary, altered approximately 500-600 final certificates that had been signed and sealed by Negrón. After the alterations, the certificates were either returned to Fortuño or delivered to clients.
Despite the false claims that the former governor of Puerto Rico was part of some wild kickback scheme, the actual lawsuit filed against Puerto Rico’s electric utility is pretty eye-opening. But no, the former governor of Puerto Rico has nothing to do with the suit.