By Alexandra Alper / Reuters
A Mexican government auditor on Friday exonerated President Enrique Peña Nieto and his finance minister from any wrongdoing over purchases of homes from public contractors, but opposition lawmakers poured scorn over the bid to lay the scandal to rest.
Virgilio Andrade, head of the Public Administration Ministry, said the investigation showed that neither Peña Nieto nor Finance Minister Luis Videgaray had gained benefits or tried to influence officials responsible for awarding contracts to companies that sold homes to them and the president’s wife.
Appointed by Peña Nieto to run the public administration ministry after an outcry over the homes, Andrade said investigators had questioned 111 officials involved in awarding 33 contracts to the companies linked to the homes.
In a news conference to announce the probe’s findings, Andrade explained how Peña Nieto and Videgaray had not broken any laws and argued that the two politicians had not held public office at relevant moments in the chronology of the purchases.
“It was determined there is no conflict of interest,” Andrade said before facing repeated questions from reporters about how his ministry had reached its conclusions.