Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Puerto Rico House ends governor’s impeachment

By on July 25, 2019

House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez (Courtesy)

Rosselló sent legislature his resignation letter just before proceedings began

María Soledad Dávila Calero

SAN JUAN — Less than two hours before the Puerto Rico House of Representatives officially began the impeachment of Gov. Ricardo Rosslló, House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez tweeted the former’s official resignation letter.

Nevertheless, the House began the impeachment process in special session just before 2 p.m., where the governor’s letter was acknowledged as received, read and the session closed. The speaker had maintained that were the governor to resign, an impeachment would be academic, despite calls by the Puerto Rico Bar Association that the potential wrongdoing found by both its and the House’s reports should be prosecuted. 

Earlier Thursday, the speaker expressed to the media his distrust of Rosselló’s intention to step down despite the governor having said he would step down in a broadcast video message, and assured he would not stop the impeachment proceedings until he saw a resignation letter that proved the “irrevocable” departure of the governor. 

“The resignation must be of an irrevocable character. It is not a resignation that [the governor] can regret and…take it back. No. There has to be total certainty that the event is going to happen and also see what are the transition issues, which I presume must be the appointment of the secretary of state. That must be discussed. It has to be known,” Méndez said in a WKAQ interview.

The resignation letter is a shorter version of the speech the governor gave at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, which for the most part was a list of what Rosselló sees as the highlights of his administration and leaves the last portion of the letter as his statement of resignation.

“Even though I count with the mandate of the People that democratically elected me, today I recognize that continuing in this position represents a challenge for the achieved success to endure. After listening to the demands, speaking with my family, thinking about my kids and in prayer, I hereby notify my resignation to the position of governor of Puerto Rico effective at 5:00 p.m. on August 2, 2019,” the letter reads.

The letter was addressed to Méndez, Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz and Puerto Rico Chief Justice Maite Oronoz.

“I hope that this decision will serve as a call for citizen reconciliation that we need so much to move forward with the wellbeing of Puerto Rico as its north,” the governor wrote.

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