The last time Gov. Ricardo Rosselló was spotted by fellow Puerto Ricans, he was taking a jog with his security detail on Tuesday morning near the wealthy beachtown of Dorado.
As reports of Rosselló’s imminent departure circled the island, the whereabouts of the besieged governor were a source of speculation — and the subject of vastly contradictory accounts — early Wednesday.
Was he inside the governor’s colonial Fortaleza mansion? Did he leave in the early morning hours to avoid being seen? Was he even in Puerto Rico? Had he already resigned secretly and taken a private plane to Virginia, to the home of his dad, former governor Pedro Rosselló? Was he still the governor of Puerto Rico?
Close aides and friends of Rosselló offered starkly different versions on radio and television shows Wednesday morning.
Antonio Sagardía, former secretary of justice under Gov. Luis Fortuño, told reporters Rosselló had already resigned and was no longer in Puerto Rico.
Sagardía assured radio station WIAC 740 AM he had been “talking with the governor in the last few days because I was convinced he needed advisers.”
This version was quickly contradicted about 30 minutes later by Ricardo Llerandi, Rosselló’s chief of staff until he resigned less than 24 hours before.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reject that rumor,” Llerandi told WAPA Noticentro reporters in a televised interview. “Yesterday when I left, he was still in Fortaleza.”
Llerandi, one of the members of the profanity-laden Telegram group message that provoked massive outrage on the island, said the governor was weighing “all options” but could not say if he would resign.
“The governor is going through a process of… He was not clinging to power, he was weighing all his options,” Llerandi said.
At the home of the governor’s father, Pedro Rosselló’, in Vienna, Virginia, a woman who identified herself as Maga Nevares de Rosselló, the former governor’s wife, answered the door. She said she had no information to share about her son’s reported resignation and said her son and husband were not home.
She declined to comment about her son’s whereabouts and asked a Miami Herald reporter to leave.
Two women who identified themselves as Puerto Rican police officers emerged from the side of the house and told a reporter to leave the private property. The house sits at the end of a quarter-mile private road.
As the reporter was speaking with police, Pedro Rosselló emerged at the front door of the house, about 50 feet away, and began shooting video with his phone.
He did not respond to a question about his son’s reported resignation.
Five minutes later, a car driven by one of the police officers sped away from the house. The back windows of the car were blocked off with clothing.
Ten minutes later, Pedro Rosselló and his wife left the house in a white Mercedes, with Pedro Rosselló driving.