Local April 4, 2014 | 10:10 am

Dominican Republic’s scandal-fraught Foreign Service sinks even further

Santo Domingo.- Just when many people thought Dominican Republic’s scandal-fraught Foreign Service could sink no further, a report by acento.com.do and a Dominican Today source confirm that the recent firings of the general consuls in New York and Boston stemmed from the U.S. State Dept.’s refusal to accredit them because they are U.S. citizens.

Dominican Republic’s Embassy in Washington has confirmed the appointment of Roman Octavio Jáquez to replace Luis Lithgow in New York, and Ana Gratereaux to replace Miguel Andújar in Boston.

“The United States-with absolute secrecy- has been handling the removal of the former consul Luis Lithgow, before having spent two months in the post,” acento.com.do reports.

It’s the latest in a series of scandals uncovering the dozens of “botellas” as Dominicans call the cronies of Danilo Medina’s Administration and close collaborators of Foreign minister Carlos Morales, who get monthly paychecks without doing any work for the government in the country or abroad.

“According to the Foreign Ministry the Dominican Consulate in New York has 38 vice consuls and 57 consulate assistants with salaries ranging from US$2,500.00 to US$920.00 per month,” the outlet says, noting that the entity’s Website doesn’t list the commissions which they are entitled to.

Of Dominican Republic’s 95 currently registered consular officials only two figure as accredited in the U.S. Department of State.

The Dominican Today source said the refusal by appointed consular officials to renounce their U.S. Citizenship and Residency has not only led to denied accreditation but also to the invalidity of the official documents they’ve signing since taking their posts. “They are not accredited by the State Department and the documents they sign have no validity for Washington.”

Medina not innocent

Another DT source who works in the Foreign Ministry affirmed that president Medina “isn’t innocent” in the scandal, noting that it was the chief executive who approved the appointments of most consulate and embassy officials abroad during his many years as Chief of Staff for the two Administrations of former president Leonel Fernandez. “He was responsible for the designations of most of the people in the Foreign Service…he is not innocent.”

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