The Miami Herald
June 23, 1999

Puerto Rican legislator resigns amid corruption allegations

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- (AP) -- A leader of Puerto Rico's legislature resigned
Tuesday over allegations he took $200,000 in federal money meant for AIDS
patients, part of a scandal that has rocked the island's government.

Jose Granados Navedo, vice president of the House of Representatives, said he
was tired of fighting the ``massacre of reputations'' surrounding the scandal.

Gov. Pedro Rossello and former San Juan Mayor Hector Luis Acevedo are among
several politicians accused of accepting stolen money.

Granados charged in his resignation letter that he and others were being made
scapegoats. ``I am not disposed to submit myself, nor my family, to this

As a witness in the trial of three government administrators convicted of stealing
$2.2 million in federal AIDS funds, Granados testified earlier this month he took a
$200,000 campaign donation from a doctor who is to be tried later this year.

The money, including $100,000 stuffed into a cardboard box, was to be used in
Granados' unsuccessful campaign for San Juan mayor. Prosecutors claim it was
part of the stolen funds.

Granados said he never asked where the money came from, even though local
elections laws require detailed records of donors and put a $1,000 limit on
personal donations to mayoral campaigns.

The scandal centers on the now-defunct San Juan AIDS Institute, which Rossello
helped set up in the late 1980s.

Three of the agency's top officials were convicted June 14 of diverting funds into
dummy corporations they owned. Three more are awaiting trial, and five others
have pleaded guilty.