Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Expected to Resign According to Reports
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
July 24, 2019
Multiple outlets are reporting that Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to resign today following several days of major protests against his administration after an email scandal and allegations of corruption.
Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rico residents flooded the streets in recent days demanding Rosselló's resignation after nearly 900 pages of private messages between Rosselló and his staff and high-level administration officials were leaked by Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism. Demonstrators expressed a willingness to continue their protests until Rossello stepped down from his position as governor. The messages went public after two former Puerto Rico officials, former Puerto Rico Education Secretary Julia Keleher and former Health Insurance Administration head Ángela Ávila-Marrero were arrested for allegedly helping friends get lucrative government contracts.
The private chats leaked by the Center revealed a series of profanity-laced, misogynistic and homophobic comments by Rosselló that included cynical remarks about deaths that followed Hurricane Maria in 2017.
In one message, Rosselló appeared to refer to Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Puerto Rico-born former speaker of the New York City Council, using the Spanish word for "whore" after she criticized the chair of the Democratic National Committee for backing statehood for Puerto Rico.
"Our people should come out and defend Tom and beat up that whore," Rosselló wrote.
Another message showed Puerto Rico's chief fiscal officer at the time, write to Rosselló that he was "salivating to shoot" the mayor of San Juan, Yulín Cruz.
"You'd be doing me a grand favor," the governor replied.
On Sunday, the governor appeared to bend to some of the pressure, saying that while he intended to remain in his position as governor, he would not seek re-election in 2020 and had resigned from his position as the president of the new Progressive Party.
Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira told CNN the governor has not resigned and that "whichever decision he makes will as always be communicated officially."
"There's a frenzy right now and a lot of incorrect rumors being spread, even by some media outlets," Maceira added.
The news of Rosselló's expected resignation comes one day after his chief of staff submitted his resignation, effective on July 31.
"The last few days have been extremely difficult for everyone. At this historical juncture it is up to me to take the welfare of my family into consideration. The threats we've received can be tolerated as an individual, but I will never allow them to affect my home," Ricardo Llerandi Cruz wrote in his resignation letter.
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