Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló shifted key members of his financial and debt team and appointed a new Secretary of the Treasury as he moved to fill a vacancy created when his chief of staff was forced to resign in May.

Ricardo Rossello,  Gerardo Portelo Franco, and Christian Sobrino discuss revising Puerto Rico's fiscal plan in February 2018.
From left to right: The new head of Puerto Rico's debt restructuring, Christian Sobrino Vega; Gov. Ricardo Rosselló; and the prior head of debt restructuring, Gerardo Portela Franco.

He named Christian Sobrino Vega head of the agency in charge of the debt restructuring, the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority, replacing Gerardo Portela Franco. Sobrino Vega has been the chairman of FAFAA’s board since November and on Tuesday was named its executive director. He will continue in his roles as nonvoting representative of the governor on the Puerto Rico Oversight Board and economic advisor to the governor.

Rosselló named Portela Franco to the newly created position of chief investment officer. He will be charged with attracting investment in Puerto Rico.

The governor also shifted Raul Maldonado Gautier from the position of Secretary of the Treasury to Chief of Staff. Maldonado Gautier will retain a title of chief financial officer in his new role.

Teresita Fuentes will replace Maldonado Gautier as the Secretary of the Treasury. Fuentes has been working as a tax policy advisor for the Treasury Department. In a video interview on the El Nuevo Día web site, she said that she thought Puerto Rico tax rates were too high and said tax compliance needs to be improved.

The chief of staff position was open because Rosselló asked his previous chief of staff, William Villafañe Ramos, to resign in May.

The request came after Puerto Rico’s Department of Justice had completed a preliminary investigation and recommended the appointment of a Special Independent Prosecutors Panel. The investigation focuses on possible efforts by Villafañe Ramos in October 2016 to influence a judge’s actions on an election. In October 2016 Rosselló was a gubernatorial candidate and not the elected governor.

Since early May Puerto Rico Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín has served as interim chief of staff.

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