San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica labor minister resigns over hiring of family member

Labor Minister Víctor Morales resigned Tuesday amid growing criticism over the hiring of his niece for a job at the ministry, a violation of a code of ethics that he helped promote.

“I’m leaving in order to protect a clean record,” Morales said, acknowledging that Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís was not satisfied with the removal of Morales’ niece, Yulianna Alfaro Morales, from a job as receptionist at the ministry, which she started last week.

The now ex-minister denied that the hiring was an act of corruption.

But a ministry code of ethics that Morales adopted last year states that he would not use public office to “procure special services, appointments or any other personal benefit” in favor of family members or friends.

The daily La Nación first reported on the scandal on Monday.

Morales said he had discussed the matter with President Solís, who currently is on a trip to New York to participate in a United Nations forum.

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Charles House

Based on the performance of many employees in civil service jobs, this situation is not an isolated case. While trying to get an appointment at Migracion, we watched a clerk keyboarding at a rate of about 5 words a minute. Blind performance tests would eliminate much of this practice.

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