Governor's Driver Packing Heat?

September 22, 2009

A Marianas Variety story states that Governor Fitial's driver, Pete Reyes was "visited by federal agents at his residence." The very short article stated:
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Santiago F. Tudela, for his part, was summoned by the federal court regarding the issuance of a gun to Reyes.

Asked for comment, Tudela confirmed that he received the subpoena on Friday. He declined to elaborate.

Reyes will be indicted this week, Variety was told.
I checked and there was no indictment posted on Pacer. I will post it when and if there is an indictment.

This short story raises several questions, at least for me. Why does the governor have a driver? Is he a driver or a body guard? How much does he earn? Why does the driver need a gun? Did the DPS Commissioner issue a police gun to the driver? If so, why?

The governor's press secretary gave this statement to the MV:
Press Secretary Charles Reyes Jr., in an e-mail, said: “Sorry, we do not issue statements in response to rumors or unconfirmed reports. Please let me know if you have something concrete that would warrant an official comment or statement. A legal document would be good.”
I have this bizarre picture in my mind of this "driver" packing heat while driving the governor around protecting him from ________? From what? Very strange.


Anonymous said...

Hey a lot of people pack heat for various reasons Wendy. Some to protect their leader and others to protect their various pimping activities and drugs. No big deal.

Anonymous said...

Noni 5:23 Protect their leader from what? Is he protecting Fitial because of his pimping activities in Orchids or La Fiesta? What are you saying?

Anonymous said...

When I think of all the stuff that "federal agents" would like to hang on the Governor, the fact that this is what they decide to make an issue of is simultaneously a testament to their vindictive political pettiness, their impotence, their frustration, and their inability to let go of bully-boy tactics even when it makes them look ridiculous.

Can't get the man? Go after his driver instead. (Just ask Salim Hamdan.)

Anonymous said...

Thankfully, some law enforcement agency seems to be doing their job in the NMI. Would the DOJ go after this guy if he was not in violation of the law? No!

WD asks good questions. Why does BF need a driver and why does the driver need a weapon?

What the h___ is ridiculous about enforcing laws? We know who YOU work for!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:20

Why do you think law enforcement is vindictive, impotent or frustrated? Got facts? It seems you are the vindictive, petty one.

Anonymous said...

Most governors in our country have drivers and security, and the incumbent is certainly not the first in the CNMI to have them.

A driver allows a governor to spend his time and attention on what we elect them for.

As for security, one need only read some of the rabid comments on this very blog.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 7:24

If there have ever been threats made against ANY person on this site they have been against me and I have removed them. If ever I receive threats against the governor or any other person they will be referred to the FBI. Criticism of policy does not translate to threats. Contempt of acts does not translate to threats.

A driver allows a governor to spend his time and attention on what we elect them for. Huh? Where does this man drive the governor to that takes so long that he could not drive himself? It's not like he drives from Washington, DC to Baltimore every day and needs a driver so he can get work done on his laptop or something. He lives and works on a small island. Sorry, I just don't get it.

Saipan Writer said...

There must be more to the story. Perhaps the driver has a (federal) criminal record and is prohibited from carrying a weapon.

I personally don't find it particularly wrong that the CNMI Governor has a driver, or that the driver may also act as a body guard. Of all the excesses and waste, this one seems to be tied in some way to reality. There can be violence aimed at political figures, even in the CNMI; and you may want to be talking on the phone or reviewing documents in the car if you're the Governor, which would take your attention away from driving. You wouldn't want to be in the situation where you caused an accident or violated a traffic law, like Froilan (who got stopped for speeding and tried to bully his way out of it).

It may not be everybody's choice for the Governor to have a driver/body-guard, but it's not off-the-wall.

If you want excess and waste, check out the story on $10million dollars spent for a medical facility that can't be used because it's unsafe! Far more outrageous.

Wendy said...

HI Jane

I agree there must be more to this story.

Sorry, I still can't justify the need for a driver in my mind or the fact that the driver needs to have a gun.

Any person could get in an accident from talking on the phone while driving, which is why it is outlawed in many localities now and why so many people have hands free options in their cars.

Of course, there are more outrageous ways money has been wasted. Your example is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Tim VG the ex Lt. Gov had a number of body guards following him around Saipan. They even had "guard duty" on his sport fishing boat the "Dr V". Wonder where these characters are now and wonder how they were paid?

captain said...

Away from the Gov requiring an armed driver or not.
I would think that it is legal to have a personal body guard of the CNMI Gov. to be issued a permit to carry, IF he had the proper training and Fed qualifications like a background check to have a weapon.Who owns the gun, is it his personally or is it the NMI Govt, DPS.
The gun laws in the NMI I would think is not Fed business, as these laws, on the whole, are locally mandated and enforced as is Guam's and the US states.
But could it be, as stated by another, that this guy has a felony record, would that get the Feds involved, or could it be that this guy threatened somebody with the gun when he was drinking or some other instance involved using the firearm.
I think I remember something like this awhile ago, but do not remember who it was or if it was here or Guam or Hawaii.

BTW, Saipan Writer, it was a total of 22Mil on the Dialysis center from an initial cost of about 5Mil.

Anonymous said...

I think we should have an unpaid city council and unpaid mayor who accepts the position from devotion to the community. So yes, I think a driver is more waste, a body guard on Saipan is nonsense, and a gun toting driver seems criminal to me.

If the driver has ever enterd the Kimchi Cabana or the Guvs other hangouts with a fire arm, that must be a felony.

Saipan Writer said...


Yeah, I've got a better sense of what's happened at the dialysis center. You can read about my studies in my recent post at my blog.

It's enough to make a grown man cry.

bigsoxfan said...

I'm thinking the driver is a contracter, not tied to the gov't, and not required to give evidence through accounting for his time as he drove ben around the island.
Along these lines; Ques. to Private Ben ten; your timeslip shows you to be on duty at 0130 at location z, do you have documentation to verify you wre actually with the gov at this time.
Answ: Well yes, I was driving the gov at that time and Miss Xe can verify my account as she was in the back seat of the vehicle.
Or yes, we were in conference with the Lt Gov in the lot behind the Saipan Mayor office.
If I was driving a political figure in disrepute, I'd be packing also. If Ben Ten is not in disrepute, I don't know what is. You would think the cheap bastard would have at least bought his man a liscence.