Andrés Granier has a sumptuous wardrobe and lifestyle. He has bragged about owning 400 pairs of shoes, 300 suits and 1,000 shirts, collected from luxury stores in New York and Los Angeles. His purchases barely fit in his several properties, scattered throughout Mexico and abroad. A tape recording of Mr. Granier’s boasts, making him sound like a highflying corporate executive, was leaked to a local radio station last month. But his job title, until December, was governor of a midsize southeastern Mexican state, a position that currently pays about $92,000 a year after taxes.
“We go to Fifth Avenue and buy a pair of shoes; $600,” Mr. Granier is heard saying about one of his trips abroad. “I took clothes to Miami, I took clothes to Cancún, I took clothes to my house, and I have leftovers,” he added, saying, “I’m going to auction them off.” (The day after the recording was made public, he said that he had been inebriated while making those statements in October.) But just as eye-opening as the extravagances of a public official — now under investigation after Mr. Granier’s successor discovered that about $190 million in state funds was unaccounted for, the state government said this month — is that they came to light at all in a country where state and local corruption, a serious drag on Mexico’s development, run deep and are rarely exposed.