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Before Boudin, Stahl and Howard, Circuit Judges.

Maria D. Penalbert-Rosa was discharged from public employment in Puerto Rico in February 2009, shortly after the governorship of the Commonwealth changed hands from one political party to another. According to her later complaint, Penalbert had been employed since 2006 as a receptionist in an office building annexed to the Puerto Rico governor’s executive mansion; from 1989 to 2006, she worked in a communications office within the same complex. Neither position, she asserts, entailed formulating policy or handling confidential information.

The new governor, Luis Fortuno-Burset, candidate of the New Progressive Party (“NPP”), was elected in November 2008 and assumed office in January 2009. Several weeks later, Penalbert–a member of the Popular Democratic Party (“PDP”)–received a letter terminating her employment. The letter described her position as “one of trust” (that is, one subject to at-will termination under Puerto Rico law, P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 3, § 1465 (2006); see Costa-Urena v. Segarra, 590 F.3d 18, 22 (1st Cir. 2009)), but it contained no criticism of her work or explanation for her firing.

 
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