Plaintiff Juan J. Valentín Merlo (hereinafter referred to as “Vlentín”) worked asMarketing Director for defendant Puerto Rico Public Broadcasting Co. (hereinafter referred to as“WIPR”), pursuant to a career appointment, until August 16, 2011. Through letter dated August16, 2011 but served personally upon plaintiff on August 17, 2011, defendants notified Valentínas to the final determination to dismiss him from employment. Prior to that, he had worked for 26 years at WIPR, ascending upon its ranks because of his superior performance and work ethics. During his years of public service, Valentín had never been the object of any disciplinary proceeding, until defendants came into power and engaged in a pattern of political discriminationthat ended in dismissal.3.
Defendant WIPR is a public corporation created under and regulated by Law Number 216 of September 12, 1996, as amended (27 P.R. Laws Ann. § 501, et seq). WIPR,although wholly owned by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, enjoys administrativeindependence from said government and consequently may be independently sued
. WIPR policy is made by its Board of Directors and by its President. It has been held by the First Circuitthat, although WIPR does not generate its own funds, its
enabling act does not unequivocallyindicate that the Commonwealth structured WIPR to share its sovereignty, and there is noindication that the Commonwealth has bound itself to pay WIPR's debts. Thus, WIPR is notshielded by immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.4.
Defendant Israel “Ray” Cruz (hereinafter “Cruz”) presided over WIPR fromMarch 12, 2009 to December 31, 2011. The President is the corporation’s nominating authorityand his decisions constitute WIPR policy sufficient to impose liability for the corporation.Defendant Cruz is an active member of the NPP, to the point that it was believed by some thathis appointment as President when he did not have a proper academic background for the
27 P.R. Laws Ann.
Case 3:12-cv-01669 Document 1 Filed 08/15/12 Page 2 of 12