Eliezer Ramos Pares claims that his hands are tied.
Education Minister Eliezer Ramos Pares confirmed this Thursday that he is in a “dilemma” over an eviction lawsuit the agency is facing over $4,658,457.70 in accumulated debt for using multiple offices in the building that is now its headquarters Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Hato Rey.
On the one hand, the owner of the building, engineer Luis Rivera Siaka, is trying to evict them from the building and the annex they occupy through the courts. On the other hand, Ramos Pares wants to pay off the debt to stay there. However, he acknowledged that making the payment could see him referred to a special independent prosecutor (PFEI) panel similar to the one faced by one of his predecessors, Eligio Hernandez.
“Now my hands are tied. Of course, and we mean that figuratively. It’s not that we don’t do (anything). We have already communicated with the (Fiscal Oversight) Council, we continue to communicate with the OGP (Office of Management and Budget). We also want to get out of the impasse that did not arise now. We have been dragging it out since 2021,” the owner said First hour during a visit to the office of the organization Instituto Nueva Escuela in Rio Piedras.
It is about the fact that from June 2021 until now, the education has not issued any payment to the engineer River Siak. The lack of a signed contract between the parties is the main reason for non-payment of Education funds.
Ramos Pares explained that “the barrier meets the requirements requested by the Council, which are not valid for the contract holder (Rivera Siaca). To the extent that the signing of this contract amendment is required for the Board’s authorization to disburse funds, I have no payment mechanism, no legal mechanism. This would fall under the same circumstances as the condition under which the referral to PFEI was made. So it’s a dilemma.”
With the building owner’s lawsuit, Ramos Pares hopes a legal alternative will emerge that will save him from eviction. One of them is that the court orders you to pay. This will avoid getting into the legal trouble of being referred to PFEI.
“The legal mechanism could be a negotiation or maybe a judgment in favor of the building because it allows us to pay through the judgment in another way,” he said.
What the official did agree is that leaving the building, which was the agency’s former headquarters in the past and is currently undergoing corrections, won’t be easy.
He noted that there are all servers of computerized educational programs. He said that such a move could cause security problems and other complications related to the computer world.
The building also houses the San Juan Region and the agency’s human resources department.
“It’s an extremely difficult issue and I’m saying (I’m going to) leave the building and that we’re going to take it day by day. In the best case, I can do it with some offices, but we are talking about the fact that there is a server room of the Department of Education. So there’s the issue of security and information, there’s the issue of being able to do that, and that’s what’s been pushed for,” he said.
The secretary admitted that they were looking for alternatives in case of eviction. At the same time, he noted that the court should develop a plan to implement such a step.
In addition to the complications, Ramos Pares admitted that Rivera Siaka should pay what he was owed “for the sake of justice”.
“Nor do I mean to be unfair to the owner of the building,” he said.
Rivera Siaka’s attorney, Charles A. Kupril, announced the eviction lawsuit yesterday, Wednesday. It reported that “making this decision was very difficult for Rivera Siaka because of the long relationship he had with the Department of Education dating back to 1969. However, Rivera Siaka can no longer tolerate the Department continuing to occupy his property. .without paying what is due under the contract. Rivera Siaka has always lived up to her responsibility as an owner, making important investments to keep the property in optimal condition for the benefit of the Department’s core operations.”
Author: Francis Rosario
Source: Prime Ahora