Raul Romero

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Raul Romero
26th President of Santa Rosa
In office
20 August 1982 – 6 February 1990
Vice PresidentEsteban Gayoso
Preceded byLorenzo Lestrange
Succeeded byIsrael Pozo (acting)
Tito Pérez
Personal details
Born Raul Itamar Romero y Cajal
18 June 1930
Puerto Plata, Santa Rosa
Political party PLR
Spouse(s) Carmen Romero

Raul Itamar Romero y Cajal (born 18 June 1930) is a Santa Rosan politician who served as the 26th President of Santa Rosa since 20 August 1982 until his resignation on 6 February 1990.

Presidency (1982–1990)

First term (1982–1986)

Raul Romero was elected President of Santa Rosa for the first time in the 1982 election.

Second term (1986–1990)

Romero was re-elected in the 1986 election, defeating Social Democrat candidate Pol Schwenke.

Embezzlement accusation, impeachment, resignation

On 31 December 1989, La Estrella, a center-left publication based in Santa Rosa, published a story accusing Romero and some of his close confidantes in government, including vice president Esteban Gayoso, of embezzling funds from the natural disaster relief treasury and spending them on luxury products such as mansions, import cars, and boats. Included in the report were photographs and secret recordings of Romero and Gayoso at a yacht party with singer Paolo Skredz and an unnamed ambassador from Grandi Alberi. In the recording, Gayoso said, "You can thank the lack of earthquakes this year for this beautiful yacht."

President Romero denied the allegations of La Estrella and accused them of treachery. Seeking re-election for his third term in the 1990 election, Romero saw his poll numbers decrease drastically throughout January, causing some of his own party members to distance themselves from him. President of the Congress Israel Pozo of the Liberal Republican Party denounced Romero and asked him to explain the situation. Romero continued to deny all allegations.

On 28 January 1990, the National Assembly of Santa Rosa passed a motion with a 47 to 43 vote in favor of holding an impeachment vote against Romero. Congress President Pozo crossed his party line alongside two other PLR congressmen in favor of the motion. Shortly after, Romero's polling numbers fell below the tens.

President Romero's chief of staff Osvaldo Sulzbach resigned on 1 February, offering to testify before the Senate in the event of a successful impeachment. Sulzbach claimed that "corruption and scandal ran deeper than the yacht parties" and that he was "morally opposed to continuing to serve in [Romero's] administration."

On 6 February 1990, the Congress voted 61 to 29 in favor of impeachment for Romero. Rather than draw out the process and face possible conviction and removal from office by the Senatet, as well as to save his party's face in the upcoming election, Romero and Vice President Esteban Gayoso both resigned. The two later relinquished their position on the PLR ticket for the 1990 election, and Romero was succeeded by Israel Pozo as Acting President of Santa Rosa.