MISSING: A Massage Chair from the Governor’s Mansion in Puerto Rico


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By Mivette Vega

June 3, 2020

Playards, tablets, and a custom armored SUV ordered for former governor Ricardo Rosselló are some of the property with unknown whereabouts.

Puerto Rico’s government does not know the whereabouts of a large SUV purchased for former governor Ricardo Rosselló at a cost of $245,000 in 2018.

The local Department of Public Safety (DSP by its Spanish initials) confirmed not knowing the location of the armored vehicle originally intended for use by Rosselló.

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According to several investigations done by media outlets in Puerto Rico, the Governor’s Office, through the General Services Administration (ASG by its Spanish initials), made a purchase order on February 23, 2018, to acquire a Chevrolet Suburban “Premier” SUV. The base cost of the vehicle was $86,950; after customized safety and comfort specifications requested by Rosselló and his family, the price went up to $245,000, even after a “special discount” of $27,550.

After political analyst Jay Fonseca revealed the purchase order in his program “Jay y sus Rayos X,” Rosselló received much criticism, especially in light of the precarious economic situation of the island. Rosselló said he denied having any idea of the purchase, so the vehicle would be transferred to the Police Department.

After Rosselló resigned as governor in August of 2019 because of a chat scandal, tracking of the vehicle’s whereabouts was muddled at best. The Department of Public Security (DSP by its Spanish initials) had three changes of secretary-in-charge.  

The current secretary of the DSP, Pedro Janer, sent a letter to Treasury Inspector Yamín Valdivieso last Friday, saying they don’t know the whereabouts of the vehicle.

“The Department of Public Security has faced problems in locating the current status of the acquisition, which originally occurred from La Fortaleza. According to documents we have located, on October 25, 2018, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau made a payment of the remaining balance for the purchase of the vehicle in the amount of $58,150. As of today, the property has not been handed over to the General Services Administration (property tax owner), nor to the Department of Public Security,” said the letter according to Metro newspaper

According to emails and documents obtained by the newspaper, it is possible that the Texas Armoring company—in charge of customizing the SUV—has not yet delivered the vehicle.

Janer also said in the letter the DSP is facing great challenges in communicating with the customization company.

On Wednesday, Valdivieso said in an interview with radio station Noti Uno it is very likely someone from the government will have to travel to Texas and resolve the situation.

“Someone will have to get on a plane. I don’t know if an employee of my office will have to go to Texas and see where it is,” said Valdivieso.

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The situation coincides with a complaint filed with the Police on Friday by the person in charge of inventory at La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion.

According to José D. Calendaria Santos, furniture and electronic equipment valued $14,729.45 is missing.

Santos said he started to take inventory after Wanda Vázquez Garced was sworn in as a governor in August of 2019. He finished his list on May 21.

“It could be that property intended for the executive mansion went missing. I interviewed Ms. Grisel Santiago Calderón, the governor’s main adviser, and she said she had interviewed several former employees, and they all mentioned the same thing,” stated the complaint.

The Americano obtained a copy of the police report filed on Friday. Read the entirety of the document here:

According to El Nuevo Día, some of the missing property includes three 4Moms Breeze Plus brand playards valued at $299 each, a Zero Gravity brand massage chair valued at $3,369, an Ava Regency brand bed for girls valued at $1,399, and an Aircraft brand swing valued at $149.99.

Also missing is an infant protective seat valued at $349.99, four iPad tablets totaling $4,064, and four Apple Pencils for a total of $596.

Secretary of Public Affairs Osvaldo Soto confirmed on Tuesday the property hasn’t been found, during an interview with radio station Noti Uno.

“There is a complaint because, apparently, the property has not turned up. Every effort is being made to identify the items, including looking in warehouses Fortaleza may have used. So far the articles have not been found,” said Soto.

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