The Federal Court ordered the removal of Cecília Smith Lorenzon from her position as Health Secretary of Roraima and prohibited her from accessing the secretariat in Boa Vista. Her house was the target of searches and seizures during operation Higeia, launched by the Federal Police to investigate suspected fraud involving orthopedic surgeries in the state, this Friday (2).
In the morning, in addition to Cecília’s house, federal police officers also carried out search and seizure warrants at the headquarters of the Department of Health (Sesau) and at the General Hospital of Roraima, the largest in the state. Cecília Lorenzon has been secretary since February 2022 – two years ago.
Cecília Lorenzon was also prohibited by the Federal Court from hiring, being appointed or continuing to hold commissioned, effective and/or political positions, and from bidding with public authorities in all spheres.
In a statement, the government of Roraima reported that the court order had been complied with. He also said that he “supports any and all investigation processes, and that he defends transparency and the clarification of any doubts regarding management”.
He also added that he determined that full transparency be given to the facts and documents requested by the inspection and control bodies.
Earlier, in a note, Sesau informed that as soon as it had access to the police investigation “an administrative investigation of the facts will be opened.”
“Sesau clarifies that it is available to provide all clarifications in full regarding the investigation. And, if any irregularity is proven, the appropriate measures will be adopted.”
Regarding the operation, Cecília said she was “calm and available for any and all clarifications regarding the investigation.”
According to investigations by the Federal Police, the hiring of companies that provide health services were carried out “without a preliminary technical study proving the internal need for the service, disregarding previous audits by the Federal Audit Court (TCU) and the Comptroller’s Office – General of the Union (CGU)”.
Operation Higeia investigates the existence of an organized criminal structure suspected of defrauding bidding procedures in the area of providing traumatology and orthopedics services, culminating in the adoption of a price registration minutes tendered by the government of Acre.
Ten search and seizure warrants were issued by the Federal Court of the 1st Region, to be carried out in Boa Vista, capital of Roraima, in Cuiabá (MT), and Goiânia (GO), in addition to the determination to block assets worth more than R$ 30 million of those investigated.
Who is Cecília Lorenzon
Cecília Lorenzon is a lawyer and has been Secretary of Health since February 2022. She was the 10th person to be appointed to the position by the governor of Roraima, Antonio Denarium (PP). At the time, she took over the role from Leocádio Vasconcelos.
Before that, she had been appointed to the same position in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, but was replaced.
In February 2023, Cecília Lorenzon made a comment following the repercussion of images of a pregnant woman thrown to the floor while waiting for care at the Nossa Senhora de Nazareth maternity hospital. The unit operates temporarily in a space known as “canvas maternity ward”. At the time, she said “people are willing to put on a show” when commenting on the pregnant video.
Cecília Lorenzon has a degree in Law from the Federal University of Rondônia, a specialist in Management, Environmental Expertise and Auditing, Constitutional and Administrative Law and has training in Macropolitics and Management in the Unified Health System (SUS). She is studying an MBA in Contracts and Tenders and a master’s degree in Public Security, Human Rights and Citizenship, from the State University of Roraima. She held the position of Vice-President of the Permanent Bidding Committee (CPL) and was a Law professor at Faculdade Cathedral.