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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor names 17 for bench seats amid wave of judicial retirements

Official court data shows that 26 judges are slated to retire in 2022.

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia has sent a list of 17 nominees for judgeship positions as reportedly the judicial branch is losing a large number of judges to retirement because of the commonwealth debt adjustment plan changes to the pension system.

Official court data shows that 26 judges are slated to retire in 2022. The judiciary in a written statement reported that since January 2022 some seven judges have retired while some 19 active judges submitted their letters of resignation prior to March 15, the date the central government’s debt adjustment plan went into effect.

The governor last week nominated Heidi Denyse Kiess Rivera to a new term as Superior Court judge, while Karilyn Marie Díaz Rivera and Waleska lvette Aldebol Mora were promoted to judgeships in the Court of Appeals.

Pierluisi also nominated Wanda Cintrón Valentín for another term as Superior Court judge, Judge Alexander Espinosa Santiago as municipal judge, Gerardo Rafael Sarriera Lázaro as Superior Court judge, Rodney José Ríos Medina as Superior Court judge, Elizabeth Ann Rice Dilmé as senior judge and Karen Pagán Pagán as Superior Court judge.

The list also includes Obdulio Eloy Meléndez Torra, Pedro Carlos Hernández Zumaeta, Myrna Esther Ayala Díaz, Lourdes Lynnette Gómez Torres and Begoña Inés de Jesús Meléndez as Superior Court judges.

The judicial branch has predicted that between 30 and 35 judges will be retiring soon so as not to lose their benefits following the debt adjustment plan’s implementation, which froze all benefits. There are some 386 vacancies in the judicial branch.

The governor also appointed Juan Miguel Guzmán Escobar for a promotion as Superior Court judge, and Marta Lizzette Marchany Justiniano, Ángel Manuel Llavona Folguera and Wanda Cintrón Valentín to new terms as Superior Court judge.

On Friday, the governor sent to the Legislature a list of more than 18 nominations to positions as prosecutors. They included the renominations as prosecutors of Jose Alberto Acevedo Acevedo, Rosa Enid Acevedo Gonzalez, Jimara Gabriel Maisonet and Marimer Haydee Alvarez Ortiz.

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