Brazil senator caught with cash in underwear seeks 90-day leave

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's Senator Chico Rodrigues reacts during a meeting with Brazilian Federal Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (not pictured) at the Federal Senate in Brasilia, Brazil August 9, 2019. Picture taken August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian senator caught in a police raid hiding cash between his buttocks last week has requested a 90-day leave from the Senate, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The senator, Chico Rodrigues, is the target of an investigation into the misuse of COVID-19 response funding in the northern state of Roraima. He denies any wrongdoing.

The senator had already been suspended from the Senate for 90 days by Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso, who added the Senate could decide whether to make the move permanent.

Rodrigues was a deputy leader for the agenda of the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, but he stepped down after he was caught with money in his underwear.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito, in Brasilia; writing by Carolina Mandl, in Sao Paulo; editing by Steve Orlofsky