The Weekly Fix: Puerto Rico’s Bureaucrats Are Worse Than Hurricanes

The fix is in. Officials at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) are lining their own pockets at the expense of thousands of island families still living without power.

According to Reuters, PREPA officials are demanding bribes to restore power to homes and businesses. They awarded preferential treatment to exotic dance clubs, who allegedly paid officials $5,000 and free entry tickets (worth $1000 each) to expedite their power restoration.

A letter written by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee accused PREPA officials of redirecting resources toward fixing their own homes before restoring power to the Rio Piedras Medical Center and Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.

To make matters worse, PREPA officials also lied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about warehouse supply levels, which led to slower operations and further waste, fraud, and abuse within the relief effort.

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee is demanding that PREPA preserve all records of open investigations into “allegations of corruption, favoritism, or abuse of authority by PREPA employees, officials, or contractors.” But does anyone honestly believe corrupt officials would preserve records leading to their own demise?

Asking the PREPA officials to keep honest accounts of their own wrongdoing is like asking a fox to guard the henhouse.

Hurricane Maria killed dozens of Puerto Ricans and caused catastrophic damage to the electric grid of the entire island. Thousands of families are still displaced out of their homes. The fact that unaccountable bureaucrats would exploit this national tragedy to enrich their personal bank accounts is sickening, but not surprising.

Who is going to hold these criminals accountable?

It’s time to take a stand. The American people aren’t being heard by their representatives because the game is rigged. Government isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”