Ethics Committee will look into case revealed by The Brazilian Report

santini rent free
José Vicente Santini flanks Jair Bolsonaro during a ceremony at the presidential palace. Photo: Alan Santos/PR

The Public Ethics Committee of the president’s office, which investigates issues of conflict of interest involving public servants, will analyze the case of National Justice Secretary José Vicente Santini, who lived rent-free in a government-granted apartment for four months after leaving the administration.

The Brazilian Report revealed the case this week. “The measures related to this ethical fact have been initiated and are in progress,” informed the body, in reply to a request through the Access to Information Law. The next committee meeting will be on June 28.

Mr. Santini lived in a government-managed apartment paid for by the presidency from March 2019 to May 2020. He was relieved from his duties, however, in January 2020, after irregularly using a Brasilia Air Force jet to travel from Switzerland to India.

A friend of President Jair Bolsonaro’s sons, Mr. Santini held important positions in public administration. He was a deputy chief of staff, then deputy Environment minister, then hopped over to the president’s General-Secretariat’s Office. Since August 2021, he has held one of the most important positions at the Justice Ministry.

While in the rent-free apartment, in April 2020, he purchased another flat worth BRL 4.2 million (USD 810,000). In 2022 he bought a BRL 6.7 million mansion in the same compound where Flávio Bolsonaro, one of the president’s sons, lives.

Last year, The Brazilian Report had already revealed that Mr. Santini took steps to delay the extradition process of Allan dos Santos, a pro-Bolsonaro blogger accused of encouraging undemocratic acts.