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Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Objections Filed

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The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and The Bank of New York Mellon filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court separate objections to the motion of Bettina Whyte, the COFINA agent, for an order (i) confirming that 48 U.S.C. Section 2125 applies to the COFINA agent; (ii) confirming retention of local counsel and (iii) clarifying payment of fees and expenses of the COFINA agent and her professionals.

The Debtors assert, “The Oversight Board believes the COFINA Agent and Commonwealth Agent (collectively, the ‘Agents’) should only receive the protections of PROMESA section 105 for acts within their respective scope of authority,5 and objects to the extent any protections would extend to acts outside such scope of authority. Indeed, it appears the COFINA Agent intends to exceed the scope of her authority. Her application to retain a financial advisor [ECF No. 1273] explains the advisor is needed to analyze the Commonwealth fiscal plan.”

In addition, “The COFINA Agent was appointed and authorized to resolve a wholly legal dispute, namely whether the Commonwealth or COFINA owns certain sales and use taxes. The COFINA Agent is not authorized to do anything else…Accordingly, any protection granted by PROMESA section 105 for acts performed by the Agents should be limited to those performed within the scope of authority granted by the Stipulation and Order. The Agents should not receive any protection for acts that exceed their authorized scope, and all rights and remedies of the Oversight Board and the Debtors should be fully preserved with respect thereto.”

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