El senador novoprogresista Nelson Del Valle.
Nelson Del Valle. (Ramón "Tonito" Zayas)

Over the past year, political donations to Representative Nelson de Colón Valle have come from four people, three of whom have contractual ties to his legislative office, the House or are family members.

These four people donated a total of $1,200 to the New Progressive Party (PNP) representative for 9th district -Bayamón and Toa Alta-, who seems to have a modest political operation partly funded by his own resources, according to data from the Electoral Comptroller's Office (OCE, Spanish Acronym).

Del Valle Colón became known when the FBI raided his residence on July 27 and seized his cell phone. The representative, who runs against Yazzer Morales in this Sunday primary elections, has yet to explain the raid. All he said that day was that the FBI only took his cell phone.

Agents visit the Capitol

House Speaker Carlos "Johnny" Méndez confirmed that yesterday federal agents went to the Capitol to collect documents related to Del Valle's office and that of Representative María Milagros Charbonier, whose house was also raided.

Méndez said those documents were requested two weeks ago.

"The House is cooperating with several state and federal investigations, they required information from specific offices," Méndez said.

El Nuevo Día tried to contact Del Valle Colón, but it was not possible.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, the lawmaker reported $1,160 in campaign expenses related to printing work. The remaining $1,240 reported as expenses were to cover bank charges. It was during that period that he reported the $1,200 donated by only four contributors. Del Valle Colón put $860 out of his own pocket to reach $2,060 in donations, according to the OCE report.

The committee's treasurer, Nickolle Santos Estrada, who also heads the Committee on Small and Medium Business and Commerce that Del Valle Colón chairs, files the reports.

Estrada's mother, Mildred Estrada Rojas, is the executive director of the representative's legislative office. The House president explained that this body does not require exceptions to hiring family members as long as they are not related to the representative.

Who are his donors?

The four donors are José A. Figueroa Ramírez, Lorenzo Bonilla Agosto, Alberto Meléndez, and Áurea Colón Ocasio.

Figueroa Ramírez donated $400 in October 2019, when his firm JAFR Consulting had a contract with the representative for $125 an hour.

Meanwhile, Bonilla Agosto, who donated $200, does not have contracts with Del Valle Colón but the firm LBA Consulting, registered under his name in the State Department, has provided services to Bayamón area representative Yashira Lebrón.

LBA Consulting's contracts with the House were signed by José Bou Santiago, who in turn chairs Bou Maintenance Service. This maintenance and equipment rental company has signed this term $11.6 million in contracts with the government. The company´s main client is the Municipality of Bayamón.

However, Bou´s services through the firm incorporated by Bonilla Agosto were legislative advice and representation at public hearings and sessions. The $100 an hour contract had a cap of 50 hours per month.

Bonilla Agosto also chairs LBA Truck & General Contractor, which since 2017 has contracts totaling $2.1 million with Bayamón and Cataño for truck and heavy equipment rental, and other works.

The other donor was his aunt Áurea Colón Ocasio, who gave him $400. The other donor, Meléndez Pagán, has no known contractual relationship with the government.