Washington D.C. - Although he said he is not looking for the position and recognizes that it is not his area of expertise, Peter Brown will consider any offer from President Donald Trump to join the Oversight Board that controls Puerto Rico’s public finances, which would probably lead to his resignation as the island´s Reconstruction Coordinator.
If appointed and if he accepted, Brown would also have to retire from the U.S. Coast Guard, where he is a Rear Admiral.
“It’s not something I’m looking for. My current job I think is an important one. I´ve built relationships that I think are very helpful to the overall process of Puerto Rico’s reconstruction. I know the Board has an important job too,” he said.
For Brown, “it’s important that they find people who want to do the job and have specialized expertise, particularly in public debt, public administration and bankruptcy law. Although he warned that those are not his areas of expertise, “if the administration asks me to do it, I will absolutely consider doing it”.
According to Brown, the congressional leadership is working with the White House to present candidates to the Board following the resignations of the entity chairman, José Carrión - effective October 5 - and members Carlos García and José Ramón González. The resignations of García and González are effective at the end of this month when the current Board turns four years old.
Brown said that since he is not seeking the position, he has not considered whether an appointment to the fiscal body would force him to resign as Trump’s special representative for the island´s reconstruction and retire from the Coast Guard. But, he admits that is a possible consequence.
Although Brown has one of the highest salaries in the White House - $183,000 a year - he has fallen in rank within the presidential mansion. He arrived at the White House as President Trump Homeland Security advisor.
When he was reappointed as the President’s representative for Puerto Rico´s reconstruction, he was assigned to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
But he then was transferred to the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which handles state government issues -including the island- at the White House.
His office is in the old Executive Building next to the White House.
Brown - who resides in Florida - is one of several names mentioned as possible candidates to the Board. Other potential candidates, proposed from the Republican side, include former Utah and Michigan government budget director John Nixon, and Puerto Rican Javier Ortiz, a businessman who was part of the U.S. president’s transition committee and works with the Latinos for Trump committee.