Friday, December 13, 2019

Former Puerto Rico Education secretary terminates contract with fiscal agency

By on April 4, 2019

Julia Keleher (CB file)

Following resignation and amid alleged investigation, won’t receive some $60,000

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Education Secretary Julia Keleher renounced her $250,000 contract with the island’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (Aafaf by its Spanish acronym), Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira Zayas confirmed Thursday.

In his statement, Maceira announced that Ricardo Llerandi, chief of staff of the governor’s office, La Fortaleza, accepted Keleher’s decision to end her contractual relationship with Aafaf, arguing that “no situation should divert attention from the work that is being done to continue transforming Puerto Rico.”

Llerandi thanked Keleher “for putting Puerto Rico and the children before any issue,” adding that for the governor’s administration, it is “essential” that “major issues are the ones that prevail in the public discussion. I Immediately accepted and agreed with Keleher’s determination and informed Aafaf,” which “has terminated the agreement, effective immediately.”

Keleher’s decision comes about after she stepped down this week and subsequent reports of a federal investigation into alleged irregularities in the awarding of Education Department contracts while she was secretary.

Before resigning as head of the agency, Keleher held a $250,000 contract with Aafaf to advise on matters related to the restructuring of the Education Department, which she ran until April 2.

Her contract began in August 2017 and was set to end June 30. The third clause on the cancellation of the contract, stipulates that in case she opts to terminate the agreement before the scheduled date, she would have to notify Aafaf 30 days earlier, as long as there were no reasons beyond Keleher’s control to make it unethical or impractical for her to continue working under that agreement.

The contract provided that Keleher be paid $20,833.33 a month, which at the end of the year could not exceed $250,000. She must return to the government any confidential information to which she has had access within 30 days after the end of the contract.

Read a commentary written by Keleher and published by Education Week the day after she resigned.

Puerto Rico secretaries of Education, Public Safety step down

 

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