Two senior men in the Police Department, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Superintendent Julio Valdez, who is now retired, appeared before the Senate Select Committee today to provide answers to questions for a number of matters involving the Immigration Department and the findings of the Auditor General’s office which carried out an intense audit after visas had been stolen in December 2012.
Valdez went first in the morning and publicly addressed, for the very first time, a matter which had made headlines back in February 2014. Back then, just months after the Kim Won Hong/Elvin Penner nationality and passport scandal had been exposed, a leaked document signed by Valdez had disclosed that he had been given instructions to withdraw from an investigation into the immigration department that could have unearthed serious criminal wrongdoing.
Valdez explained that he had been mandated to investigate how files from within the Immigration Department ended up in the hands of attorney Arthur Saldivar, who had gone public about irregularities in the Department. In the process of investigating, Valdez said he uncovered what were clear acts of wrongdoing by immigration officials and so he began investigating the more serious matters as well. But at the behest of a higher authority, Valdez ended up stepping back from the second probe. Today while he discussed the background at length he still chose to remain silent about where those instructions came from.