Pierluisi makes several appointments; governor’s sister to work for free
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi made new appointments Tuesday to four of the five auxiliary chief of staff posts that will be working directly with designated La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Noelia García Bardales, to follow up on the execution of work projects and government priorities.
The governor also announced that his sister, Caridad Pierluisi, who will not be appointed to a public position, or enter into a contract with the government of Puerto Rico under salary, fee or marginal benefit, will perform functions “ad honorem” in the Governor’s Office.
For the position of auxiliary chief of staff for state affairs, the governor appointed attorney Carlos Yamín Rivera.
Yamín served as executive director of the Puerto Rico Sales Tax Financing Corp., commonly known by its Spanish acronym, COFINA, and as deputy executive director of the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF by its Spanish initials).
Previously, he served as special counsel to the executive director and associate legal director for government affairs at AAFAF.
He also has work experience as an auxiliary legal adviser in La Fortaleza and as a legal officer for Puerto Rico Supreme Court Associate Justice Rafael Martínez Torres. He most recently served as a member of Pierluisi’s Incoming Transition Committee and was in charge of fiscal and federal affairs.
Yamín Rivera has a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Río Piedras Campus, and a bachelor’s degree, also magna cum laude, in political science from the same university.
The governor also appointed attorney Roberto Méndez Martínez as auxiliary chief of staff for priority projects.
Méndez Martínez worked at the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), where he learned first-hand the island’s reconstruction needs and the processes for guaranteeing the proper use of the federal funds received.
In addition, he led interagency coordination efforts to support the municipalities in disaster recovery. Prior to that, Méndez Martínez worked as a lawyer in private practice.
Méndez Martínez holds a Juris Doctor from Pontificia Universidad Católica and a bachelor of science degree from UPR, Mayagüez Campus.
Another appointment was that of Javier Carrasquillo as auxiliary chief of staff for municipal affairs. He has extensive knowledge of municipal affairs, having served as mayor of the Municipality of Cidra from 2013 to 2020.
Carrasquillo achieved important street and highway paving and patching projects in different sectors of the eastern central mountain town, as well as construction of bridges, and improvements to roads and curbs, including a collaborative agreement on the PR-172 highway with the town of Caguas. He also chaired the governing board of the Municipal Revenue Collections Center.
Carrasquillo has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Inter-American University, Metropolitan Campus.
Also, attorney Carlos Rivera Justiniano will serve as auxiliary chief of staff for legislative and regulatory affairs.
Rivera Justiniano has vast experience in legislative, investigative and analytical matters. He served as executive director of the Government Committee of the House of Representatives, was legal adviser to the House Rules and Calendar Committee, and also served as director of the office of legislative advisers to the House speaker.
Rivera Justiniano holds a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from UPR, Río Piedras Campus, and a bachelor’s degree in radio and television, magna cum laude, from UPR, Arecibo Campus.
Meanwhile, in a letter to the Government Ethics Office, Pierluisi said the provisions of the Organic Law of the Puerto Rico Government Ethics Office will apply to Caridad Pierluisi and will strictly maintain the applicable standards for protecting information of public interest in her work. The governor said he appreciated the guidance and advice of the Government Ethics Office on the matter to ensure that the best interests of the people are protected.
According to La Fortaleza’s written statement, Caridad Pierluisi is a professional with over 35 years of experience in project management, administration and communications strategist. Her career began in 1986 with various positions as a marketing and sales executive for different companies, such as Pfizer and Casiano Communications, among others. She also led the non-profit organization dedicated to her brother José Jaime Pierluisi.