Gov. Chris Christie's office announced Wednesday that the appointment of Martin Perez to the Rutgers University Board of Governors has ben finalized after a 587-day delay.
The appointment of Perez, who is President of the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, has been long wrapped up in politics, since his May 12, 2011 nomination by the governor.
He is one of the first Latino members to serve on the Rutgers Board of Governors, and a resident of New Brunswick.
He will join the board in July 2013.
According to an article on NJ.com, Perez's nomination was blocked by a group of Democratic senators in Middlesex County through a process known as "senatorial courtesy."
Through this process, senators are able to block nominations within the areas they represent without giving an explicit reason, according to NJ.com.
The governor was able to directly appoint Perez to the board through the higher education reorganization law, the same law that restructured Rutgers University and UMDNJ earlier this year, according to a press release from the governor's office.
“Nearly 600 days after I nominated Martin Perez to serve on the Board of Governors, I am extraordinarily pleased to make his appointment to serve his alma mater and end the petty politics and indifference that prevented this from happening for far too long. As a well-qualified lawyer and advocate for the Hispanic community and educational opportunity, Martin brings an important voice of diversity and point of view as the only Hispanic to sit on the current Rutgers University Board of Governors and just the second in its history,” Gov. Christie said in a prepared statement.
According to the release, Perez, a native of Puerto Rico, is a lawyer who was educated at several state institutions, including Rutgers Newark School of Law, Seton Hall University, where he received a master's degree in secondary education, and and Rutgers University Law School, where he received his Juris Doctor degree. He received his bachelor's degree at the University of Puerto Rico.