Mexico investigates Veracruz governor for embezzlement

September 22, 2016 12:06 PM EDT

Javier Duarte, Governor of the state of Veracruz, attends a news conference in Xalapa, Mexico, August 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican federal prosecutors have taken over two local investigations that include embezzlement charges against the governor of the Gulf state of Veracruz, an official said.

Javier Duarte, from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, is being investigated for diverting public funds, among other charges, federal prosecutor Jose Guadalupe Medina told reporters late on Wednesday.

President Enrique Pena Nieto's PRI fared poorly in state elections earlier this year, including losing the governorship of Veracruz.

Duarte, who has been blamed for driving up the state's debt and failing to contain a spike in drug gang crime, remains in office through the end of November.

In July, Pena Nieto's office filed a suit with the Supreme Court alleging that new state anti-corruption offices set up in Veracruz and the tourist hub Quintana Roo were unconstitutional.

The state-level offices were perceived by critics to be aimed at shielding their governors from new federal anti-corruption laws.

(Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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