SAN JUAN — Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced nominations to several positions Friday, including secretary of State, Public Safety secretary, her chief of staff and two advisers.
Elmer Román González was tapped as secretary of State, until a job offer in the federal government has been formalized, Vázquez said.
“If he were considered for a position by the federal government, it would likewise be a source of pride for us. Until that happens, he was the right resource to be secretary of State for me,” the governor said at a press conference.
“The offers are there; this was a long process of evaluations,” Román González said, “but my commitment is to be the resource of Puerto Rico. The governor asked me to take the reins of the State Department, the diplomatic side and for me it is an honor to do so,” he added
Before his appointment as secretary of State, Román González said, he was considering resigning as secretary of the Department of Public Safety because in favor of a job offer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In Román González’s place as Public Safety secretary, the governor named Pedro “Pete” Janer, whose career includes going from undercover agent, “to interagency task force leader, to Inspector and Acting Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s [Drug Enforcement Administration] Caribbean operations. Specific responsibilities included heading a diversion group based in San Juan, managing major international drug and anti-money laundering investigations, and leading DEA’s resident offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas,” according to his bio on the website of Athos Group International, a law enforcement consulting firm he presides.
As chief of staff, Vázquez Garced appointed Antonio Pabón Valle. The lawyer, who was an adviser to the governor on “Social Welfare and Federal Affairs,” will replace Zoé Laboy Alvarado, whose resignation comes in effect at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Ana Mateu Meléndez, the daughter of Ponce Mayor María Eloísa “Mayita” Meléndez Altieri, will replace Phillip Mesa Pabón, who is also resigning, as Public Policy secretary.
The governor named Luis Roberto Rivera Cruz as an adviser in Municipal Affairs, replacing Omar Negrón, who also resigned.
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