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Sambodia: Waterfall and City Hall

I read it in the Diário do Grande ABC …

The Typhoid Mary of Brazil’s most recent outbreak of corruption scandal — as you may have read about in the Economist last week, in an article received well by local friends — is a major construction consortium, Delta, with an enormous number of public works contracts, including stadium work for the Cup and Olympiad from which it bowed out just last week.

Following the trajectory of previous scandals, different publications focus on different potential angles, possibly to spare some figures and stick it to others. The calculus of the Fourth Estate, partisan politics, and sub rosa congressional lobbying can get pretty complex.  I wonder whether I can find any documentation on these contracts at JUSCESP, the state corporate record archives? It used to really stink …

At any rate, the item is as follows, I translate …

The São Paulo state prosecutor and the parliamentary investigation, or CPI, into racketeer Carlinhos “Charlie Waterfall” Cachoeira is looking into possible favortism shown to the Waterfall group in São Paulo during the mayoral term of Gilberto Kassab (PSD) as well as the terms of José Serra (PSDB) as state governor, 2007-2010, and São Paulo mayor, 2004-2006.

A report in Isto É magazine this week says the suspect is the Delta construction firm, accused of acting as Cachoeira’s right hand and of receiving favorable treatment from the state and city, multiplying the number of contracts it received.  The magazine claims that members of the current CPI have had access to conversations recorded with court approval between June 2011 and January 2012.

According to the story, these conversations show that Delta was favored on the contract to widen the Marginal do Tietê beltway and on a service contract for street sweeping worth BRL 2 billion. On the tapes, to which the magazine said it had access, people close to Cachoeira refer to amending the terms of bid solicitations and contracts. Wednesday of this week, the state prosecutor filed a civil suit seeking to discover irregularities, overbilling and conspiring with public officials.

In a statement to the magazine, state legislator João Paulo Rillo (PT) says the inquiry could reveal the practice of campaign caixa 2 — «secret cash drawer» — by the PSDB in S. Paulo. The party leader,Álvaro Dias, meanwhile argues that the contracts should be audited in order to determine whether the prices paid were fair.