January 10th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The San Jose City Council has the green light to punish the mayor of San Jose and presidential hopeful, Johnny Araya with a 15-day suspension. This comes after the Administrative Court rejected the injunction that the politician had presented in an attempt to override the recommendation made by Comptroller General.
Araya could be suspended for 15 days without pay, at the decision of the City Council, which began considering the situation on Monday. Talks surrounding the issue will continue next week in a session that has been declared “secret,” though some sources state that the Council has already reached the decision to suspend Araya.
The case is related to an alleged approval of a public bid for amounts that were in excess of that wich were budgeted. The contract was given for the updating and improving of the land registry system, for nearly $2 million USD. The contract was given to the Mexican consortium, Estudios y Proyectos de Ingenieria Urbana S.A. and Argeomatica S.A.
Araya has publicly insisted that he acted within the law, and that the contract was supported by the Council. He has also insisted that the Council does not have the right to suspend him as he holds a higher-ranking position than the members of the Council.
Araya is currently the forerunner to win nomination by the National Liberation Party for the upcoming presidential race.