San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Future emergency chief Rosales inherits downtrodden office

The president´s cabinet named a new head of Costa Rica´s emergency commission on Wednesday, one day after agents raided the commission´s offices in the western San José district of Pavas.

Vanessa Rosales, 47, a civil engineer who worked for the National Emergency Commission (CNE) between 2005 and 2006 as an executive director, will assume full responsibility of the office on April 13.

She enters at a turbulent time for the commission, which is under investigation for awarding sizeable contracts to individuals privately associated with the former commission president, Daniel Gallardo.

On Tuesday, agents from the country´s top anti-corruption prosecutor´s office initiated an investigation, closing off a section of the CNE headquarters, and searching for documents at a handful of private firms.

After he was questioned in March about his association with the companies that received the contracts, Gallardo announced his resignation, citing personal and health reasons.

But Gallardo´s associations aren´t the only conflict facing the CNE at the moment. Rosales is also stepping into a shower of criticism over the government´s response to the earthquake in January that leveled 500 homes.

See the April 3 print or digital edition of The Tico Times for more on this story.

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