Home / World / Ricardo Rossello apologizes for calling Melissa Mark-Viverito a "whore"

Ricardo Rossello apologizes for calling Melissa Mark-Viverito a "whore"



Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló – whose administration has been roiled by a corruption probe – has apologized for calling former city council Melissa Mark-Viverito a "whore" and telling a federal government that oversees the island's finances to "go on its own." [19659002] Rosselló made comments in leaked text messages published by local newspaper Primera Hora after the FBI arrested former senior officials of his government on corruption charges.

In a private chat he used the Spanish word for "" to describe Mark-Viverito – and in another told the Fiscal Oversight Board set up by Congress to monitor the territory's finances to "go f" himself in English this time , along with medium finger emojis.

Mark-Viverito is a political ally of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who runs the nominated Popular Democratic Party to challenge Rosselló in next year's gubernatorial election, according to The Hill.

"I am governor of Puerto Rico, but I am a man who has his faults," said Rosselló at a press conference late Thursday after returning from vacation in Europe with his family.

"I ask for forgiveness," he said, adding that he had worked on 1

8-hour days and waited when he commented on the board and Mark-Viverito.

"None of this justifies the words I have written," he said about extracts from his chat extracted from a message system used by government officials. "My excuses to all the people I have insulted … This was a private chat."

  Community leader Lucie Rivera, left and Melissa Mark-Viverito during a tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 2019.
Community leader Lucie Rivera (left) and Melissa Mark-Viverito during a tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico , in January 2019. AP

In the chat, Rosselló wrote that he was upset that Mark-Viverito had attacked Tom Perez,

Rosselló said he had not yet spoken to Mark-Viverito, who wrote a statement on Twitter who said, "A person using that language against a woman, whether it is a language a public figure or not, should not control Puerto Rico … this type of behavior is completely unacceptable."

Those who participated in the chat included Ricardo Llerandi, Puerto Rico's Chief of Staff. Christian Sobrino, Managing Director of the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and the Financial Advisory Authority;

The FBI has arrested Julia Keleher, Puerto Rico's former education secretary, and five other people on charges for directing federal funds to unqualified, politically affiliated entrepreneurs.

  San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto, third from left, gives a walk to Melissa Mark-Viverito, left and presidential candidate Julian Castro in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto (third from left) gives a hike to Melissa Mark-Viverito (left) and presidential candidate Julian Castro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. AP

The alleged fraud involves $ 15.5 million of federal funding issued between 2017 and 2019, officials said

. arrests come just a month after Congress approved a disaster relief bill for the island over the protests by President Trump, who said that Puerto Rico officials are "incompetent or corrupt".

Rosselló insisted that he should resign and that he focused on conducting anti-corruption measures at a time when Puerto Rico is still seeking federal funds to rebuild from the 2017 hurricane Maria, as it remains in a 13- yearly recession.


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