Washington (EFE).- The Organization of American States (OAS) will pay $120,000 to a law firm to investigate the organization’s secretary general, Luis Almagro, for having had an intimate relationship with an employee.
The Miller & Chevalier law firm, based in Washington DC, is the company selected from among the six proposals to carry out the investigation, as confirmed to EFE by two sources with knowledge of the matter.
The company must deliver a report with its findings within a period of three months, that is, by March of this year the Permanent Council will receive said report and must decide what actions to take.
a romantic relationship
The Secretary General had a sentimental relationship with an OAS employee for three years, as confirmed by Almagro himself before the plenary session of the organization.
Although on paper the employee did not have the position of direct adviser to Almagro, sources consulted by EFE assured that she acted as such and internal documents show that she had several promotions.
The OAS ensures that these promotions were in accordance with the regulations of the organization and that there was no intervention on the part of the Secretary General.
“All the administrative actions regarding this official were in accordance with the regulations and were administered for her the same as for all the personnel. And in none of the cases did the Secretary General intervene, because as has already been reiterated, he was never her supervisor, “a spokesperson for the organization told EFE.
The OAS inspector general, Hugo Eduardo Ascensio, was the one who recommended hiring an external firm to carry out the investigations after being informed of the romance by an anonymous source.
three months of investigation
The investigation will focus on itself, within the framework of the sentimental relationship, Almagro violated various OAS regulations. Specifically, the regulations in relation to supervisory functions, salary increases and intimidation.
He will also be investigated regarding another complaint from the anonymous informant, which indicates that a domestic employee who worked at the OAS official residence was physically and verbally assaulted by Almagro’s ex-wife, Marianne Birkholtz.
In October, during the OAS General Assembly in Lima, Luis Almagro assured that he had not contravened the norms of the organization and stated that he was never a “supervisor of any person” with whom “he had a relationship.”
Almagro, who was Uruguay’s foreign minister between 2010 and 2015, has headed the OAS since 2015 and renewed for a second term of another five years in March 2020.
The controversy surrounding his relationship with another OAS employee broke out shortly after the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) decided in September by a majority to dismiss its president, Mauricio Claver-Carone, for having a relationship loving with a subordinate, something that he denies.