González Colón decries ‘strategy’ of obstructing appointments

By John McPhaul

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón expressed concern on Monday about what she described as “a strategy of the Legislative Assembly to limit the mobility of the government,” in reference to the handling of appointments.

“That is very dangerous, because what it does is delay and stop the aid from arriving, the process from being able to proceed,” the resident commissioner said at a press conference. “Why? Because when a secretary is not confirmed, all expectations are that [the confirmation] could be or could not be reversed.”

“And another thing is that you have people who are proven, who have been appointed and have been confirmed for previous positions, who have gone through the public pressure cooker as is the case of engineer Larry Seilhamer [who was saw his appointment as secretary of state hamstrung in the House of Representatives], the case of Omar Marrero [now the designated secretary of state] and other professionals,” she added. “How long did we wait for the secretary of health to be confirmed in the midst of a crisis? If it weren’t for a public outcry [the appointment’ wouldn’t have been confirmed.”

González Colón said the appointment of secretary of state is important, so she hopes that in the next legislative session the appointment will be promptly addressed.

“And I don’t see that disposition and I’m not seeing that work,” she said. “It seems to me that with the experience of Larry Seilhamer, who was the victim of political blackmail and some perks in the Legislature, I believe that this is not what Puerto Rico expects. Because obviously, [the opposition] looks to try to obstruct the work of the governor.”

The resident commissioner made her statements as part of a call to the Legislative Assembly to confirm Omar Marrero Díaz as secretary of state.

From the appointments submitted by the governor in the ordinary session that ended in June, the second candidate for secretary of education, Magali Rivera Rivera, was also “hanged,” in addition to Seilhamer Rodríguez, the candidate for comptroller, Manuel Torres Nieves, and the candidate for Firefighters Bureau commissioner, Javish Collazo Fernández.

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