LULAC leaders expel 5 senior members for misconduct
By The Star Staff
The leaders of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has expelled five of its members, including Puerto Rican-born Elsie Valdés Ramos, the national vice president for women, following the discovery of misconduct.
The LULAC leaders released a statement following a two-day national board meeting in which they said members, corporate partners and community allies had committed themselves to staying focused on the organization’s mission of serving the 66 million Latinos in the United States and Puerto Rico.
“We want to report that we have come out united, committed and stronger than ever with a single voice that includes elected representatives of LULAC from all corners of the country,” said Domingo García, the national president of LULAC.
The LULAC statement charged that a “rogue spoofed group is waging a disinformation campaign, including saying that former LULAC National President Roger Rocha is the president of the LULAC National Institute (LNI).”
García said in the statement that the false claims are being led by a group of five officers from the LULAC national board who have been removed and charged, with one of the officers expelled from the organization.
The action was taken after considering a series of violations of the organization’s constitution. The decision means that the individuals who were appointed cease to be members of the national board.
Besides Valdés Ramos, the other members who were expelled were Ralina Cardona, national vice president for the northeast; Yvonne Quiñones, national vice president for the southeast; Andrés Rodríguez, national vice president of young adults; and Pablo Martínez, the national treasurer, who was dismissed and expelled.
In a separate related action, the board removed Linda Chávez, southwest national vice president, as ineligible to serve in that capacity in accordance with constitutional requirements following the expulsion. On Friday, the LULAC national board voted to terminate Sindy Benavides’ contract as CEO.
“Our eyes are on our work ahead and we are committed to working together on the urgent needs facing our people,” García said. “We will not be distracted by the false claims of a small impromptu group of people falsely claiming the LULAC shield and banner. These people were removed from office and charged for violating the LULAC constitution, which has guided our organization for 93 years. They do not represent LULAC, now or in the future.”