A 25-year-old Brazilian mayor, Lidiane Leite, is on the run after she was accused of illegally draining funds from the school system, not to mention running the town using a messaging app.
The young and inexperienced mayor is known to have kept in touch with her town, Bom Jardim, only through WhatsApp messages she sent to members of the cabinet and was seen living a luxurious life in São Luís, the capital of Maranhao state – more than 150 miles away.
Her boyfriend, Beto Rocha, who served as her main advisor, was previously banned in 2012 from running for mayor due to alleged corruption, after which Leite took up the position.
"She was too young and and inexperienced when she took office," said her lawyer, Carlos Barros. "She lacked confidence and delegated many tasks to Mr. Rocha."
The couple broke up earlier this year, and Rocha resigned his advisor post.
Leite was named in a federal investigation for allegedly misusing approximately $4 million of the state’s education funds and has avoided trial since then. In fact, she's nowhere to be found, investigators say.
Bom Jardim’s shaky education system has now collapsed as teachers are not being paid, and a state judge could seek an international arrest warrant if Leite does not surrender by Tuesday.