Antonio Sagardía

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Antonio Sagardía-De Jesús served as Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico, appointed by Governor Luis Fortuño and sworn in by Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock on January 2, 2009.[1] He resigned effective December 23, 2009.[2]

Controversies[edit]

In May 2009 Mr. Sagardia was involved in a confrontation with representative Luis Vega Ramos during a budget hearing after Vega Ramos questioned contracts the Puerto Rico Justice Department had awarded to Sagardia's former partner Víctor A. Ramos. It had previously surfaced that Sagardia, acting as Attorney General, had granted the release from prison of a convicted murderer represented by his former partner. During the confrontation Mr. Sagardia excitedly called Vega Ramos a scoundrel, a chump lawyer and an intellectual dwarf.[3]

Sagardía resigned to his post as Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico and became Ana Cacho's lawyer, a suspect in a high-profile case under his jurisdiction, a move that was seen as unethical by many.[4]

Duties and Powers[edit]

As the top law enforcement official in Puerto Rico, Sagardía headed a unified prosecutorial system in which all district attorneys are appointed by the Governor and served under Attorney General Sagardía.

On its own discretion and authority, the Office of the Attorney General may investigate constitutional and politically sensitive issues.[5]

Prior to taking office, Sagardía embarked on the task of reviewing the Justice Department's conduct, during several politically sensitive investigations carried out under his predecessor.[6]

Line of Succession[edit]

In the event that the Governor of Puerto Rico is traveling away from Puerto Rico, the Attorney General is second in the line of succession, after the Secretary of State.

On January 18, 2009, Attorney General Sagardía served as the first Acting Governor of Puerto Rico during the 2009-2013 term, when Governor Fortuño and Secretary of State McClintock both attended the inaugural ceremonies of President-Elect Barack Obama.

Personal Background[edit]

Sagardía, born in 1957, is a former district attorney and attorney in private practice, before and after serving as Attorney General.

He is a member of the Governor's New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico,[7] and a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico.

References[edit]