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Faz Rejects Rossello DC Interview, Governor: ARPE Case An Exception, Rivera Alicia Resigns Amidst Sex Scandal, Pesquera Touts Rossellos Tenure & Castigates Calderon's, Former Governor Would Testify In A Washington Public Hearing
Faz Rejects Rossello Interview
August 28th, 2002.
SAN JUAN (AP) Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Eudaldo Baez Galib accepted the Senate President Antonio Fas Alzamoras decision to deny the Senate Judicial Committees request to travel to Washington to interview former Gov. Pedro Rossello regarding over his allegations that a conspiracy to quash exterminate the statehood movement exists between the local government, some U.S. District Attorneys officials and the Ferre Rangel Group.
Fas Alzamora confirmed on Wednesday that he denied Baez Galibs petition to interview Rossello in Washington.
However, Baez Galib reaffirmed his stance that Rossellos testimony is important and rejected the idea that the former governor could put up a show.
"I reaffirm my words that if he wants to put up a show, its easier to do it in Puerto Rico", Baez Galib said, adding that Rossello has more support on the island than in the federal capital. Fas Alzamora met with Baez Galib and asked him to justify the need for the trip.
The Senate leader also said he would not allow Rossello to use the Senate as a circus from which to make fun of legislators.
"What is normal for people to appear before the Senate," Fas Alzamora said.
Rossello accepted Baez Galibs proposal but said the public hearing should be held in Washington.
Governor: ARPE's Scandal Is An Exception To The Rule
By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News
AUGUST 27, 2002
In a brief comment about the sex scandal that ended with the resignation of Permits and Regulation Authority (ARPE by its Spanish acronym) Director Laudelino Rivera Alicea, Gov. Sila Calderon told the press on Tuesday that this particular case was an exception to the rule.
"We certainly take all possible precautions so that this type of situation doesn't happen. Sometimes things don't go the way one would want them to and I see this as an exception to the rule," the governor said.
Calderon said she believes that the rest of her cabinet members are professionals who possess an impeccable record.
"I am satisfied with the evaluation process [of the cabinet candidates]. This is an isolated incident that doesn't compare to the magnificent cabinet that I have in the government of Puerto Rico," the governor said.
On Monday, the former ARPE chief resigned his post after a local newspaper revealed that he had been detained for soliciting sexual favors to an undercover agent in May.
Rivera Alicea, who was never charged, insisted that the allegations were false, but that he would resign his post to prevent the controversy from harming the Calderon administration.
The governor declined to say whether her administration would take additional measures to make the evaluation process when selecting cabinet members be stricter in order to avoid similar scandals in the future.
"This type of situation shouldn't occur. It is a disgrace that it did and that's the end of it," the governor concluded.
ARPE Chief Resigns His Post In The Midst Of Sex Scandal
By Proviana Colon Diaz of WOW News
AUGUST 26, 2002
Following the front page publication of an island newspaper indicating alleged sexual misconduct, that resulted in no criminal accusations as a judge exonerated him, Permits and Regulations Authority (ARPE by its Spanish acronym) Director Laudelino Rivera Alicea handed in his resignation to Gov. Sila Calderon, who accepted it on Monday afternoon.
Rivera Alicea denied the allegations in the newspaper but said than in order to save the governor from any problems on his account he chose to quit his post.
The Courts Administration would later issue a written statement saying that the judge in the case, Arecibo Superior Court Judge Jose Diaz Espinoza, never exonerated Rivera but rather found no cause for the allegations.
Reactions from La Fortaleza came soon after the resignation was handed in. In a brief written statement signed by Chief of Staff Cesar Miranda no reference was made to the published reports or to Riveras motive for resigning his post.
Miranda noted that Calderon accepted the resignation and appointed former La Fortaleza advisor Carlos Lopez Freytes as interim director.
The one-page press release indicates that Freytes interim position wont last long, as Calderon is already working to find a replacement for Rivera.
Neither Calderon nor Miranda spoke to the media. Instead the press release was handed out by La Fortaleza Press Secretary Luis Torres Negron who refused to say if the published reports had anything to do with the resignation.
Torres Negron repeated that "the governor accepted the resignation."
Rivera Alicea denied the allegations against him.
"This was a minor incident that has no reason for having escalated, since a judge ruled that the accusations against me were not true," Rivera said.
According to published reports, the former ARPE director was detained, along with 10 others in May during a raid to end male and female prostitution in Arecibo.
The director allegedly gave an undercover male agent money in exchanged for sexual favors.
Pesquera Contrasts Rossello's And Calderon's Administration
AUGUST 25, 2002
RIO GRANDE (AP) - The leadership of the New Progressive Party (NPP) ended its annual assembly with a commitment to work together to win the 2004 general election.
The party also lambasted Gov. Sila Calderon's performance as a state leader.
NPP President and gubernatorial candidate Carlos Pesquera described the past administration of former Gov. Pedro Rossello as one of progress and social justice.
"Those eight years of which I was proud and part of, were eight years of vision and determination to put Puerto Rico on its feet, to give the people trust, and to seek statehood," Pesquera said during a fiery closing speech at the annual assembly held in Rio Grande.
He noted the health reform, the community schools, and the fight against crime as some of the achievements of the past administration.
"The community schools are there, regardless of whether someone had failed us. They are an example for Puerto Rico," said Pesquera.
He contrasted the fight against crime under the past administration with the alleged lack of capacity of the Calderon government to tackle crime on the island.
"They already have had two police superintendents, maybe even three, but it doesn't matter how many they have, they are incapable of really fighting that problem," said Pesquera.
Pesquera praised Rossello's work and urged the crowd not to look to the past, but to the future.
"Those who failed us did it on their own," Pesquera said referring to former public officials who engaged in corruption schemes.
He asked the Calderon administration to stop damaging the reputation of good Puerto Rican people and to stop persecuting public officials of the NPP.
Pesquera also urged his followers to work together as hard as possible to counteract the attacks of the Popular Democratic Party and of the Puerto Rican Independence Party.
Former Govs. Luis A. Ferre and Carlos Romero Barcelo also participated in the annual assembly.
Rossello Will Testify In A Public Hearing In Washington
AUGUST 23, 2002
SAN JUAN (AP) Former Gov. Pedro Rossello said on Friday that he would be willing to testify in a public hearing held in Washington before any Puerto Rican legislative committee or any other organism created by law about his tenure.
"If they want to come here [Washington] so I can tell them the truth, I will very pleased to receive them," the former official said in a radio interview.
Rossello reacted to the summons issued by Senate Ethics Committee chairman Eudaldo Baez Galib, to present any proof the former governor has to sustain his accusation that Gov. Sila Calderon is conspiring with U.S. District Attorneys office officials and the Ferre-Rangel Group dailies against the statehood movement.
"Let them choose a public place in Washington, open to everyone who wishes to participate and I will be very pleased to tell them my truth," Rossello said.
The former governor however, refused to testify before the Blue Ribbon Committee, presided over by former Puerto Rican Independence Party Rep. David Noriega, because of his conviction, that the organism lacks legal authority to investigate and constitutes an instrument of persecution.
"The Blue Ribbon has demonstrated a selective persecution pattern in all its investigations and has also shown no respect for civil rights," Rossello said.
The Senate Ethics Committee chairman announced on Thursday that the former governor has been offered several options to appear before the legislative body.
Baez Galib indicated that Rossello was "a governor in charge of all the islands security system, so he should know what a conspiracy means and I assume he is no making a political statement."
New Progressive Party (NPP) Electoral Commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz lambasted Baez Galibs action.