“The best investigation is the one that is done without hurry, and that when published, has consequences,” said journalist Carmen Enid Acevedo during a conference entitled “Journalistic investigations of Corruption in the Department of Education,” recalling her experience as a reporter covering the corruption case in that agency when Víctor Fajardo was the Secretary. In 2001, Acevedo had access to prosecution evidence that Fajardo was the leader of a scheme in the New Progressive Party (PNP, in Spanish) to solicit bribes from agency contractors that would go to subsidize the 1996 electoral campaign. During the workshop, journalist Carmen Enid Acevedo shared her experience covering the corruption case of former Education Secretary, convicted felon Victor Fajardo.Photo by Ricardo Rodríguez | Center for Investigative Journalism
The audience, comprised by members of the Center for Investigative Journalism’s (CPI, in Spanish) Institute for Journalism Training, heard presentations by Acevedo, Aiola Virella and Marisol Seda, journalists who have investigated corruption-related matters within Puerto Rico’s Department of Education, and reflected on the lessons learned from these investigations. The panel focused on the corruption cases brought against former Education Secretaries Víctor Fajardo and Julia Keleher. The former, who held the position under former Gov. Pedro Roselló’s tenure, served 13 years in prison for appropriating $4.3 million in federal funds that should have been destined for the education of the island’s children.