San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Public sector

Administrative judge suspends sanctions against lawmaker Walter Céspedes

An Administrative Court judge suspended a dismissal order and a ban from holding public office for six years against Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) lawmaker Walter Céspedes Salazar. The suspension had been requested by the Comptroller General’s Office (CGR).

The comptroller’s office had demanded the immediate dismissal and banning from politics of Céspedes and Costa Rican Railroad Institute President Miguel Carabaguíaz.

At a Monday morning press conference, Céspedes confirmed that judge José Iván Salas had accepted his appeal at 10:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Céspedes’ term at the Legislative Assembly ends on Wednesday, but the ban from holding public office would have affected his intention of taking over as chief adviser for PUSC’s new legislators, who take office on Thursday.

A CGR investigation last November found both officials, along with four ex-board members of the Agriculture Development Institute (IDA), responsible for transferring five state-owned properties considered natural heritage to private individuals for use in farming.

The lawmaker attributed the charges against him to “revenge by many people linked to several accusations he has raised ​​against public officials.”

Céspedes said he will file on Tuesday a final complaint as a member of the Legislative Assembly against other comptroller’s office rulings related to irregular actions by officials of the National Institute for Housing and Urban Development.

The Administrative Court on Friday also accepted a similar appeal filed by Carabaguíaz, and in coming days it will hold a trial to review the sanctions against him. However, Carabaguíaz’s term ends on May 8.

Contact L. Arias at

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