Former Puerto Rico ombudsman accused of improperly using public funds

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A former Puerto Rico government official responsible for investigating complaints about how state agencies are run has been charged with corruption.

Ex-Puerto Rico ombudsman Carlos Lopez Nieves was charged Wednesday with 28 counts related to improperly using public funds.

He is scheduled to appear in court Friday and declined to comment to reporters as he left the courthouse.

Authorities accused him of using public funds to pay for personal trips to Las Vegas and Spain, as well as to pay for expenses generated during trips he took to Holland and the Philippines as president of Puerto Rico's Softball Federation.

Lopez also is accused of using government phones, cars, computers and other items to support his interest in a cockfighting business.

Lopez served as ombudsman from 2002 to 2008.