July 15 (UPI) -- Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is under pressure to resign after leaked online private group chats between he and close associates were revealed over the weekend.
The leaked chats showed sexual comments critics say were misogynistic and homophobic. Rossello is already under fire following the arrests of two former government officials on corruption charges.
The chats on the Telegram messaging service targeted political opponents, spoke of assassinating San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and made fun of needy Puerto Ricans. They were revealed Saturday by the nonprofit Center for Investigative Journalism, which posted 889 pages on its website.
El Nuevo Dia said some who participated in the chat included former campaign manager Elias Sanchez, Chief Financial Officer Christian Sobrino and former public affairs secretary Ramon Rosario. The group also included chief of staff Ricardo Llerandi, publicist Edwin Miranda, legal adviser Alfonso Orona and public relations experts Carlos Bermúdez and Rafael Cerame.
"I think they did a lot of illegal things during these conversations," CIR's Carla Minet told CBS News. "They were part of a conspiracy to persecute people because of political beliefs. I think definitely they used public funds to do political work. That is unbelievable."
The FBI arrested two former Rossello aides last week on fraud charges in connection with $15 million in federal funding. The governor's administration has been under investigation over how it spent federal funds after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez called on Rossello to remove himself for re-election next year, while Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz said every public official on the chat should resign.