Former Tabasco Gov. Andres Granier said in a television interview Monday in the United States that he did not break the law and planned to return to Mexico to clear his name in the courts.
"I want to repeat and make it very clear that I am innocent and I am going to show it," Granier said on Televisa's Primero Noticias show.
Granier, who stands accused of illicit enrichment, has been living in the United States for the past few months due to health problems.
The interview was the politician's first public appearance since his successor, Arturo Nuñez, said on Feb. 22 that an audit of Granier's administration found 1.91 billion pesos ($152 million) was missing.
"I am in the city of Miami. It was a decision my wife and I made in the month of October," the former governor said, citing health concerns and fear of an attempt on his life by drug traffickers for his move to the United States.
Granier, a member of Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, said he owned "13 properties," the majority of them in Tabasco.
The properties include some shuttered chemical labs, apartments in Cancun, an apartment in Mexico City and other properties in Tabasco, Granier said, adding that he had about 25 million pesos ($1.96 million) in assets.
The former governor said he was in the United States for health reasons and not to avoid Mexican prosecutors, who ordered him to answer questions on May 30 about alleged misuse of public funds during his 2007-2012 term.
Granier, however, failed to show up for the meeting with investigators.
"I am not running away, I am here in front of Mexico and Tabasco," and "in the next few hours, I will go to Mexico in case I have to appear before some authority that wants me. Of course, I am doing it 'motu propio,'" Granier said.
The federal Finance Secretariat and Attorney General's Office are also investigating the allegations of corruption in Tabasco. EFE