Sergio Peña Clos

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Sergio Peña Clos
Member of the Puerto Rico Senate
from the At-large district
In office
1980–2004
President pro tempore of the Senate of Puerto Rico
In office
1981–1988
Preceded by José Manuel Ramos Barroso
Succeeded by Miguel Deynes Soto
Personal details
Born (1927-06-13) June 13, 1927 (age 89)
Humacao, Puerto Rico
Political party Popular Democratic Party (PPD)
New Progressive Party (PNP)
Alma mater Saint Louis University
University of Puerto Rico
Profession Politician, Senator, Attorney

Sergio Peña Clos (born June 13, 1927 in Humacao, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican politician and former Senator. He was a member of the Senate of Puerto Rico from 1980 to 2004.

Early years and studies[edit]

Sergio Peña Clos was born on June 13, 1927 on Humacao, Puerto Rico to Dr. Sergio Peña Almodóvar and Maria Clos Ribót. He finished the eighth grade at the Ponce de León public school in his hometown, and graduated from high school from the Colegio San José in Río Piedras at the age of fourteen.[1] With only 15 years, Peña Clos enrolled at the University of St. Louis in Missouri, where he studied for three years. He then returned to Puerto Rico and in 1951, he finished his Bachelor's degree in Social Science at the University of Puerto Rico. In 1955, he graduated as an attorney from the same university.

Professional career[edit]

With only 21 years, Peña Clos was a judicial adviser to Judge Julio Suárez Garriga. At the age of 23, he opened his own law firm in Caguas working as a criminal lawyer.

In 1960, while working at the Puerto Rico Bar Association, Peña Clos became interested in the case of Salvador Agron ("The Capeman") and Tony Hernández ("Umbrella Man"), two Puerto Rican gang members (aged 16 and 15 respectively) accused of murdering two innocent teenagers and sentenced to death row. Peña Clos appeared at the New York Court of Appeals as a friend of the court, analyzing the case. Peña Clos also met with Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and eventually Agrón's death sentence was eliminated, while Hernández' sentence was revoked.[2]

In 1975, Peña Clos was named member and Vicepresident of the Civil Rights Commission of the Government of Puerto Rico. He remained in the commission until 1977.

Political career[edit]

First terms as Senator with the PPD: 1980-1996[edit]

Peña Clos began his political career in 1980 when he was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico for the Popular Democratic Party (PPD). During that term, he was elected as President pro tempore of the Senate, under Miguel Hernández Agosto. Peña Clos was reelected in 1984 and continued to serve as President pro tempore until 1988. Peña Clos was again reelected in the elections of 1988 and 1992.[3]

Senator with the PNP: 1996-2000[edit]

Peña Clos left the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) and joined the New Progressive Party (PNP) appearing in their ballot as Senator for the 1996 elections. He was reelected once again[4] and presided the Commission of Government Ethics and the Special Commission on the Events of the Cerro Maravilla incident.

Independent senator and return to the PPD: 2000-2004[edit]

Peña Clos was again reelected in 2000 with the New Progressive Party.[5] However, he left the party in the middle of his term and declared himself an independent senator. He finished the term returning to the Popular Democratic Party. He presented his candidacy under the PPD for the 2003 primaries, but lost.[6]

Recent years: 2004-present[edit]

Peña Clos has continued working as an attorney. He also collaborates as a political commentator in television and radio shows.

Personal life[edit]

Peña Clos was married to Zoraida Ortiz Rivera, who was almost 40 years younger. In 2005, the senator was accused of domestic violence against Ortiz, but a jury absolved him of the charge.[7]

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
José Manuel Ramos Barroso
President pro tempore of the Senate of Puerto Rico
1981–1988
Succeeded by
Miguel Deynes Soto

References[edit]

External links[edit]