Gov. Vázquez says she regrets resignation of Emergency Management Bureau commissioner
Deputy Commissioner Rolón to take over in an interim capacity
SAN JUAN – On Tuesday evening, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced said she was accepting the resignation, effective immediately, of Gen. José Burgos, the commissioner of the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration (NMEAD by its Spanish initials).
The deputy commissioner, retired Col. Marcelo Rolón will take over Burgos’ position temporarily.
Burgos said he was stepping down voluntarily because of a difficult political climate that detracted from his ability to perform his duties.
“I deeply regret the decision that General Burgos made to resign as NMEAD Commissioner. His reasons are strictly personal and he has stated so in his letter. Puerto Rico loses a great public servant who accepted this duty with the highest sense of responsibility, selflessness and dedication,” the governor said.
The governor’s office published part of Burgos’ letter to Vázquez.
“Although I have not been asked to resign, the current political environment does not allow me to carry out my duties in the way that I had promised and proposed. When I accepted this position, I arrived with the desire to reorganize, restructure, and restore the people of Puerto Rico’s confidence in the Bureau. Over the past few months, we have focused on updates to the State Emergency Operational Plan, the Government’s Continuity of Operations Plan, and updating the Puerto Rico Catastrophic Joint Operational Plan. All of this before the start of the 2020 hurricane season. However, public discussion has focused on conjecture and not on the full scope of the Bureau’s performance. Given this scenario, I am not willing to continue in the position, which I honorably served to this day. I thank you for the opportunity and trust….”
In her statement, Vázquez thanked Burgos “for his great work and I am very sorry that we lost an honest official…who was carrying out the task that I asked of him in the most responsible way when acting and ensuring the safety of our people, especially in the emergencies that we have faced.”