Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló appointed two members to the board of directors for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, setting up the board up to name a new executive director more to his liking.
On Wednesday the current executive director announced his resignation, effective the end of Saturday. The board of directors named Rafael Díaz Granados, one of its members, to become the new executive director at an income of $750,000 per year.
On Thursday the governor released a statement saying that the board would either reduce Díaz Granados’s salary or he would replace board members with people who would appoint a less costly executive director.
A few hours later on Thursday five members of the board of directors, including Díaz Granados, signed a letter resigning their positions and protesting what they said was the politicization of the board.
Late on Thursday the office of the governor announced that he had appointed engineer Ralph Kreil and the president of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority Elí Díaz to be new members of the PREPA board.
With the two members of the PREPA board who remain, the board will have a quorum to potentially appoint a new executive director by Sunday. Alternately, it could appoint an interim executive director.
Kreil has experience and knowledge of electrical maintenance, power systems analysis, lighting distribution, as well as of design and construction of electrical power and control systems, the governor said. He has a master of science degree in electrical engineering.
“I strongly reject the allegations of political interference by outgoing members of the governing board of PREPA,” Rosselló said. “My commitment to the energy transformation of Puerto Rico is unwavering. My duty is to watch over the best interests of the people of Puerto Rico and I will continue to do so.”
PREPA has more than $9 billion debt outstanding. Its bonds are currently in a Title III debt restructuring process.