Antonio Sagardía-De Jesús
served as Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...
of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...
, appointed by Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...
Luis Guillermo Fortuño Burset is the governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States of America. Fortuño is also the president of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico , a member of the Republican National Committee, and will be president of the Council of State...
and sworn in by Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....
Kenneth D. McClintock-Hernández is the current Secretary of State of Puerto Rico. Mr. McClintock served as co-chair of Hillary Clinton presidential campaign's National Hispanic Leadership Council in 2008, co-chaired Clinton's successful Puerto Rico primary campaign that year and served as the...
on January 2, 2009. He resigned effective December 23, 2009.
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.
Duties and Powers
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.
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.
Line of Succession
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
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...
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
The New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico is a political party that advocates for Puerto Rico's admission to the United States of America as the 51st state...
, and a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico
The University of Puerto Rico is the state university system of Puerto Rico. The system consists of 11 campuses and has approximately 64,511 students and 5,300 faculty members...