News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Thurs. Feb. 26, 2015: A 61-year-old man who served as the mayor of the municipality of Río Grande, Puerto Rico in 2010 will now spend the next five plus years in jail.
Eduard Rivera-Correa was sentenced Wednesday to 64 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Carmen C. Cerezo. He was also ordered to forfeit $39,000 for soliciting and receiving cash bribes from a contractor who sought construction inspection contracts with the municipality of Río Grande.
Rivera-Correa had pleaded guilty on Oct. 24, 2014, to one count of bribery. According to the plea agreement and statement of facts, while mayor of Río Grande in early 2010, Rivera-Correa requested that a contractor make regular kickback payments in exchange for the award of three construction inspection contracts worth a total of $329,000. After the contracts were awarded and while payments were being disbursed by the municipality, the contractor delivered envelopes containing approximately $39,000 in cash to Rivera-Correa’s office and placed them in his drawer.
In his plea agreement, Rivera-Correa also admitted to obstructing justice by threatening the contractor who paid the bribes. On or about April 16, 2012, in a recorded conversation, Rivera-Correa threatened the contractor in an effort to intimidate him and dissuade him from cooperating with law enforcement.