Former Puerto Rico Ed. Secretary Arrested, Charged With Fraud
Source: Education Week
Julia Keleher, the former education secretary of Puerto Rico, was arrested by federal agents in Washington last week on fraud charges stemming from allegations that she improperly steered millions of dollars in government contracts to consulting firms, including one run by her close friends.
Keleher, 44, faced praise and sharp criticism as she led the territory’s school system, which educates more than 300,000 students, through the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Education Week followed Keleher, as well as her supporters and critics, during multiple reporting trips to the island as it traced the school system’s difficult recovery. She stepped down three months ago, initially agreeing to remain as a paid adviser to Puerto Rico’s education agency before abruptly withdrawing from that position shortly thereafter.
Keleher was arrested along with the island’s former director of health insurance administration, Angela Avila, and contractors who worked with the insurance and education departments, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez said.