Between December 2021 and August this year, DPT Engenharia e Arquitetura LTDA invoiced R$31.4 million in contracts for emergency works – which do not require bidding – with the City of São Paulo, according to a survey carried out by Brasil de Fato. All hiring took place during the period in which Mayor Ricardo Nunes (MDB) is heading the municipal government.
The company, founded in September 2019, belongs to civil engineer and architect Pedro José da Silva Junior, 31 years old, son of Pedro José da Silva, Ricardo Nunes’ compadre. Silva is the godfather of Izabela Nunes, the mayor’s daughter.
Pedro José da Silva coordinated the MDB leadership office in the Chamber of Councilors between 2013 and 2016, a period in which Ricardo Nunes was a councilor and leader of the party in the House. The duo also worked together in the neighborhood newspaper sector, where the current mayor made his career.
City Hall employees confirmed to Brasil de Fato that the relationship between Pedro José da Silva and Ricardo Nunes is “extremely close” and that the mayor’s compadre, despite not being on the list of workers in the current government and the municipality and not having an official position in government, he is frequently seen in the corridors of the building that houses municipal power, on Viaduto do Chá.
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On Instagram, Pedro José da Silva, who uses his personal profile to publish videos and images of Nunes’ administration, is tagged in 18 publications on the mayor’s official account in the last year.
On January 21, 2020, Pedro posted a photo with his goddaughter, Izabela Nunes, congratulating her on her 14th birthday. In the comments, the first lady of São Paulo, mother of the young woman, celebrated her friendship with her friend.
“Thank you, Pedrinho, for always being close to our family and accompanying us on our journey. Thank you for your true friendship,” said Regina Carnovale Nunes, the mayor’s wife.
The father’s experience
Although the company is in his son’s name, it is Pedro José da Silva who has experience in the construction industry. The mayor’s crony previously owned two construction companies, Tomaz & Silva Construção Civil S/S Ltda and PJS Construção e Empreendimento. The first remains active, the second is unavailable.
In the two construction companies, Pedro José da Silva accumulates R$2.4 million in active debts with the Union, according to the list of debtors from the Attorney General’s Office of the National Treasury.
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The debts of Nunes’ crony are distributed as follows: R$ 1.7 million by PJS – R$ 117 thousand of which are with Social Security, and R$ 712 thousand by Tomaz & Silva, R$ 363 thousand are social security debts.
In addition to the construction companies, Pedro José da Silva is the owner of Gráfica e Editora Jornal Notícias da Região de Santo Amaro Ltda, a company he founded in 1990 and which operates as a printing company, but also produces the website and the newspaper “Notícias da Região”, which circulates in the south zone of the capital of São Paulo.
Two years earlier, in 1988, Nunes had founded the newspaper “Hora de Ação”, which also circulated in the south zone of São Paulo, a region that became the current mayor’s electoral stronghold.
Of the ten contracts between DPT and São Paulo City Hall, surveyed by Brasil de Fato, nine were made via the Municipal Secretariat of Urban Infrastructure and Works (Siurb). The first, on December 21, 2021, six months after Nunes assumed municipal power, due to the death of Bruno Covas.
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In June 2022, Junior earned R$21 million in just three contracts, all in the “Emergency” category, with direct contracting for slope containment in Itaquera (R$11.2 million); the restoration of the Parque Cocaia drainage system (R$ 6.4 million); and slope containment in Guaianases (R$ 3.3 million).
Of the ten contracts, eight were made without bidding, with Júnior’s construction company directly contracting. The other two, with a disputed bidding process, yielded R$962 thousand to DT Engenharia.
Councilor Elaine Mineiro (PSOL) drew attention to the possible conflict of interest in the relationship between Junior’s construction company and the City Hall. “One of the basic principles of public administration is morality in addition to impersonality, so a TCM audit of the contracts is necessary and an investigation into what the direct relations are with Mayor Ricardo Nunes, the population has the right to know if these contracts are following the principles of public administration”, he stated.
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For councilor Luna Zarattini (PT), “Ricardo Nunes’ City Hall has no planning, it was not organized at the beginning of the administration to solve the city’s real problems and now it wants to spend everything via emergency hiring, without holding a bidding process. From 2021 to 2022, the amounts spent through this instrument increased almost 10 times, reaching the figure of R$ 1.9 billion reais. It is necessary for the Chamber and control bodies to closely monitor how these resources are being spent”, he said .
Regarding the period in which he worked in the leadership of the MDB in the Chamber of Councillors, Pedro José da Silva told Brasil de Fato that he “served the party bench, which at the time had four councilors in the Chamber, providing advice and assistance to these parliamentarians”.
For Pedro José da Silva, the sponsorship of the mayor’s daughter does not interfere with DPT Engenharia’s commercial relations with the City Hall. “I have always participated in the party’s campaigns in the region. And the orientation of the party leaders was to support regional candidates, always working in the region demanding improvements for the community. The mayor does not and has never had any relationship with the company. The company was founded in 2019, providing services in the public and private sector since its foundation. It is important to highlight that the services provided precede the period of the mayor’s administration, with no interference in the company’s operations.”
The City of São Paulo was contacted, but preferred not to comment on the case.
Editing: Thalita Pires