An operation by the Public Ministry (MP-RS), carried out on Tuesday (14), removed high-ranking employees from the city hall of Santa Cruz do Sul, a municipality 153 km from Porto Alegre. Among them are the vice Mayor It is four secretaries.
According to the MP, the suspects were involved in fraud that caused losses to public coffers that could exceed R$47 million. In addition to the removal, the decision determines that they cannot access the premises of the city hall, the secretariats, the Municipal Attorney General’s Office and the City Council.
In this report you can see:
- Who are the targets of the operation
- Where and what court orders were complied with
- What works are under suspicion
- What the Public Ministry says
- What the Court says
- What the suspects say
Who are the targets of the operation
According to the RS Court of Justice, there are five high-ranking members of the city hall — the vice mayor Elstor Desbessel and the secretaries Everton Oltramari, Valmir José dos Reis, Marcio Farias Martins It is Edemilson Severo.
In addition to them, the councilor Henry Hermanywho is the government leader in the municipal legislature, and three municipal directors from Santa Cruz do Sul, whose names were not revealed.
Which court orders were complied with?
Blocking of goods and valuables, unavailability of 28 vehicles and three vessels, removal from public functions and prohibition of six companies from contracting with the Public Power were also determined.
What works are under suspicion
According to the MP, one of the alleged irregularities involved the renovation and paving of the Santa Cruz do Sul International Racetrack. “A work that, in addition to being fraudulent and overpriced, was carried out with poor quality, which put the safety of Stock Car Brasil stage drivers in November 2022 at risk”, states João Beltrame, prosecutor responsible for the investigation.
Another work identified as irregular by the MP is the duplication of the municipalized section of BR-471. “According to the evidence collected in the investigation, the same company investigated carried out all the technical projects and defined the values of the work, defrauding and directing the bidding, whose value already exceeds R$ 21 million, after equally fraudulent additives”, maintains the prosecutor .
The MP also refers to the direct hiring, through exemption from bidding, of a luxury building used as a party house it’s from commercial rooms for municipal secretariat rentals. “Without any need for public interest and with values above normal in the market”, she adds.
What the Public Ministry says
According to the MP, two distinct nuclei would be part of the alleged scheme. O political core it would be headed by a councilor. He would have a relationship with some companies by acting as their lawyer. O business core had the support of a member of a local business association, according to the investigation.
In the understanding of the Prosecutor’s Office, everyone is suspected of involvement in the crimes and, therefore, there will be property restrictions on those investigated for bidding fraud, embezzlement – deviations of public values carried out by public officials – and money laundry.
The case is being processed in secret. High-ranking members of the city council had the leave for a period of 180 days determined by judge Orlando Faccini Neto, confirmed the TJ.
The magistrate denied the request for preventive detention of a businessman and four of his subordinates investigated. In these cases, bail was imposed. The value established for the company owner was R$ 990 thousand. For each of the employees, it was R$ 99 thousand.
Vice Mayor Elstor Desbessel
“There were more companies that participated in this process, if it were targeted, we would only have one company participating, we had several companies, to the point that block two and another company, which won the bid and which is executing and, as far as I know, does not is being investigated and this demonstrates the smoothness of the process“.
Councilor Henrique Hermany
“My role as a councilor, as a government leader, is rather a function of articulating those bills that pass through the Chamber, but at no time has there been any interference from me, whether as a councilor or as a lawyer, in the bidding process of the municipality of Santa Southern Cross“.
Planning Secretary, Everton Oltramari
“My defense has not yet had access to the records. I took over the Planning Department in April this year and have always acted correctly and in accordance with the law. I will collaborate with the investigations and I really hope that everything is clarified quickly. I have 34 years of public service and have never been criminally prosecuted, I believe in justice and I am convinced that I have not committed any irregularities“.
Secretary of Security, Valmir José dos Reis
“We have a clear and calm conscience, although upset, because analyzing the issues presented, we do not see any direct link with the security and mobility secretariat, and we believe in the technicians from the other specific areas mentioned“.
Secretary of Economic Development and Tourism, Marcio Farias Martins
He said he will not comment on the case, only on the process.
Secretary of Administration, Edemilson Severo
The defense informed that it will speak out during the week.