a trust relationship that broke definitively and irreversibly. Thus can be explained, in part, the unprecedented public struggle this week have staged the two highest authorities of the Comptroller General, Jorge Bermudez and the subcontralora Dorothy Aurora Pérez Gutiérrez, who refused to step aside from his post, despite the formal request made by your direct boss and head of the audit entity. A conflict in which all manifest to be blind, reigns a strict secrecy about the root causes.
Until Monday, Perez was the right arm of Bermudez. In fact, reviewing opinions of little more than one month ago, appears signing on several occasions as Deputy Comptroller. But the relationship had already some tension, because of the clash of styles and different interpretations in resolving some disputes of functions in the service.
While Dorothy Pérez cultivated a very institutional profile, focused on internal relations, international meetings of equivalent agencies and anti-corruption groups, the Comptroller Bermudez has developed a style media has bothered especially to the Government of Sebastian Pinera. An example of the differences between the two was the implementation of «Contralorito», the mascot of the institution which explains the opinions and the work of the Agency in social networking, idea that seemed to Perez – according to internal sources – a strategy that desperfilaba to the institution.
Lawyer, daughter of a middle class family of Quilpué, Perez is an illustrative case of meritocracy. He studied at the University of Chile, has two masters, and in 2006 joined the Comptroller General to the section from outlet of reason, where he was Chief. A year later, the then Comptroller Ramiro Mendoza put her in charge of the institution in the Region of Valparaiso, the largest division after Santiago. He was only 31 years old, when the average age in this type of charges is 60.
Three years later he settled in Santiago as Deputy Chief of the Division of administrative audit, since key to understand your current situation. From that position he participated along with Mendoza as technical counterpart in several investigative commissions of the Chamber of Deputies, as which investigated reconstruction after the earthquake, the irregularities in the Valech scholarships and program origins of Conadi, instances in which – say – gave samples of his impeccable technical mastery in administrative matters.
But only remained in this division until 2013, when bad relations with his boss, María Isabel Carril, let the Comptroller to take over as head of the Legal Division of the Ministry of education, in March 2014. The following year, while the then-Undersecretary Valentina Quiroga was on vacation, he was Deputy Undersecretary.
An internal source of Comptroller said that Perez «feels that his work has not been fully appreciated, that so far have kept it in the background, when she considers that it has been instrumental in the proper functioning of the service and the resignation is in good expression of that part, he feels that he does not deserve this treatment after his loyal».
From education, Perez established good ties with the then Minister Nicolás Eyzaguirre, who was then the Segpres when negotiating with the Senate the name of the successor of Mendoza in the Comptroller’s Office. In October 2015, failed the nomination of the candidate of the Government, Enrique Rajevic, then that right does not support find him prone bacheletista administration and took advantage of a controversy on the restitution of the resources of a State scholarship, for drop your name.
It was then when came the name of Jorge Bermudez, supported by the then Chief of staff of Bachelet, Ana Lya Uriarte, who knew him from the world of environmental law and Dorothy Pérez, who also gave him a good view to Eyzaguirre as a specialist in administrative law.
When Bermudez is installed on the Comptroller, in December of 2015, it is named Pérez as subcontralora. But everything collapsed when Prosecutor Eugenio Campos required the Declaration as a witness of the lawyer in the context of the possible liability of two officers under his command in the Division of administrative audit, Juan Munieres and Carlos Moreno, who They allegedly omitted millionaire fraud committed from high levels of uniformed police and their duty to monitor what was happening in police. From the building located at Teatinos 56 make a point: was the summons to testify as a witness in the biggest case of fraud to police, prompting Bermudez to ask for the resignation of the subcontralora. «He did not know of this,» they stressed.
Although in the investigation of the Chamber of Deputies, Bermudez ruled out drawing that Perez had relationship with negligence that are investigated by the Comptroller, taking into account that Fabián López is carabinero, at this stage in which the prosecutor called to declare he could not defend it and asked him to give a step to the side. But lawyer is protected in article 4 of the law 10.336, governing the Comptroller, and refused to resign.
According to the law, «the Comptroller General and the Deputy Comptroller shall enjoy the privileges and immunity from laws point to the members of the justice superior court. The removal of the Comptroller General and the Deputy Comptroller will correspond to the President of the Republic, prior judicial decision dealt with in the manner established for trials of irremovability followed against Ministers of the higher courts of Justice and for those reasons listed for the Ministers of the Supreme Court».
The same Act adds that «the other employees of the Comptroller will be the exclusive confidence of the Comptroller, who can name them, promote them and remove them whole regardless of any other authority».
Just Dorothy Pérez announced, by email, to continue in their functions, as it confirmed a simple search in Google, to the link your name on the institutional website, who appears is therefore María Soledad Frindt, named by Bermudez yesterday.
About all this unprecedented incident, the Comptroller said that «it is not good that authorities are involved in court cases» and insisted that removing the subcontralora is a school of his own. Perez, in turn, insisted otherwise and therefore hired the lawyer Ciro Colombara to resort to justice.
Three acts of the controller is known that Bermudez has no maximum sympathy from La Moneda, where to watch it askance because of its resolutions on key cases for the administration of Sebastián Piñera.
The risky Charter which was played the controller name, less than 48 hours of invoked the vacancy in the Subcontraloria, to the lawyer Frindt, is followed with attention in the Government, since Dorothy Pérez arrive at the highest judicial level warning opens the posi stability to an eventual defeat of Bermudez. One that can not only be legal, but also political, what no doubt then the floor where he walks today the supervisory authority, which is not seen with bad eyes in La Moneda.
While people who know about the work of the highest authority of the Comptroller organ affirm that it never makes decisions without foundation, the political interpretation that becomes its «Movida» is not such, to the point of not having approached the ground well before asking a question resignation that ended up raising a cloud of dust that didn’t think could happen. For Bermudez – Include – «this is the worst-case scenario which took into account when it comes to carrying forward the plan.»
In the opinion of the Dean of the Faculty of political science and public administration of the Central University, Marco Moreno, the determination of the controller «from the technical point of view, has the conviction that it is right, of course this has a wear» «politically, but that consider it less than the signal of authority and less than the image that he believes should be the Comptroller in the institutional legal order».
The relationship between Bermúdez and the Pinera Government began to tighten in April and may, months in which his name was repeated twice with force in the courtyards of the Palace and not the best of ringtones.
It was Bermúdez who warned, in April, the delay of up to six months to present the opinion of the Comptroller on the appointment of Pablo Piñera, brother of the President, as an Ambassador of Chile in Buenos Aires. The words of the controller were the factor that led the President to finally withdraw from its decision, because the term was considered too ample space to keep vacancy a position of that magnitude.
Once the currency dropped officially the appointment of Pablo Piñera, the Comptroller ruled officially only 18 days later, pointing out that «due to the above, this supervisory entity fails to issue the requested statement».
Then, in may, through another opinion, the Comptroller said that conscientious objection Protocol entered by the Minister of health, Emilio Santelices, did not fit right. «Public health facilities may not invoke conscientious objection, since is a function of the State guaranteeing the free and equal access to health», said the oversight entity in a position openly antagonistic to the issues raised by La Moneda and by the Constitutional Court (TC).
Here an important Palace inside fiber, was played as the case dragged one of the first unforced errors of the Executive, since neither Santelices and the head of the second floor, Cristián Larroulet, informed the head of State of the determination. Despite this, in the currency in those days insisted be sure of that the interpretation of Bermúdez was erroneous.
The history of the relationship of Bermúdez with the different powers of the State does not end there. In March, the General Comptroller starred in a conflict of jurisdiction with the Supreme Court, as a result of the case by the social security regime of the officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. On the occasion, the country’s highest court had ruled that the DGAC officials had them walk under the pension scheme of Capredena, but the entity directed by Bermudez, in different opinions, applied the criterion under the regime of the AFP.
This case is relevant to the plot that develops today in the Comptroller’s Office, because Perez aims to reach the Supreme Court, through an application for protection, to achieve their aim of staying in the post of subcontralora.
Moreno believes that «basically he (Jorge Bermudez) is pointing to that, when courts have to interpret articles three and four, he will obviously have an element in its favor, this, in spite of the bad relationship and the dispute which has had with the Court Supreme».