Brasilia – Brazilian Labor Minister Carlos Lupi resigned in the face of corruption allegations, becoming the seventh high-ranking member of President Dilma Rousseff's administration to step down since she took office in January.
Reports of apparent irregularities at the Labor Ministry began surfacing a month ago and the Presidential Ethics Commission formally recommended last week that Rousseff fire the minister.
Lupi met with the president Sunday to present his resignation, which was immediately accepted, official sources told Efe.
The former minister later issued a statement complaining of persecution by the press and accusing the Ethics Commission of having "summarily condemned" him without giving him a chance to present a defense.
Lupi's tenure at the Labor Ministry, according to his critics, saw the establishment of a scheme to funnel public money to outside entities for services that were never provided.
During the first of two congressional appearances to respond to the charges, Lupi vowed not to give up his post even at gunpoint. The statement irked Rousseff, who demanded a public explanation, so the then-minister went before lawmakers again to apologize to them and to "President Dilma."
Lupi's departure brings to seven the number of top aides who have left the government since Rousseff took the oath of office on Jan. 1.
Like Lupi, presidential chief of staff Antonio Palocci and the ministers of transport, Alfredo Nascimento; agriculture, Wagner Rossi; tourism, Pedro Novais; and sport, Orlando Silva, left amid accusations of corruption.
The defense minister, Nelson Jobim, resigned over policy differences.
The six officials who stepped down under fire were all holdovers from the administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff's predecessor and mento.