SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – After Puerto Rican legislators threatened to impeach Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, he announced late Wednesday night on Facebook Live that he is resigning effective Friday afternoon.
By the time he made the awaited announcement, Rosselló’s chief of staff Ricardo Llerandi, former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín and former chief financial officer Christian Sobrino had all resigned.
Rosselló had also resigned from his position as president of the New Progressive Party on Sunday saying that he will not be seeking relection.
Rosselló said Wanda Vázquez, the justice secretary, will take over during the transitionary period. She worked for Puerto Rico’s department of housing in the 1980s and spent about two decades as district attorney.
There was joy on the streets early Thursday morning, but the announcement did not appease the large crowds that filled the streets around the governor’s mansion. They say they want to clean house.
During the last two weeks, the “#RickyRenuncia” protest has been relentless and mostly peaceful. Ricky Martin and the trap artist known as Bad Bunny were among the many celebrities who joined the effort.
There is an investigation pending. A judge issued search warrants for the mobile phones of the officials whose messages were leaked July 13 by the Puerto Rico Center for Investigative Journalism.
The 889-pages of private discussions included mentions of government contracts and insensitive references about the victims of 2017 Hurricane Maria.
The protesters were also angry about the misogynistic, homophobic, fatphobic and sexist commentary. There were threats of political repression. There was a discussion about a plot to destabilize the University of Puerto Rico.
The messages were published just days after the FBI arrested two of his cabinet members on accusations of public corruption in a case involving $15.5 million in federal funds.
Julia Keleher, the former secretary of the department of education, and Angela Avila-Marrero, the former Health Insurance Administration secretary, were accused of directing the federal funds in contracts to favored businesses.
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