Buckingham Apologizes, Then is Rude to Reporter

August 4, 2011

The CNMI Supreme Court ordered Attorney General Edward Buckingham to a show-cause hearing to reveal why he should not be sanctioned for failing to file a response brief in the appeal case of Simon Sebuu.  The brief was due on or before May 11, 2011. On June 3, 2011 the Clerk of Court notified the OAG that the brief was overdue. A motion to submit an out-of-time brief was filed on June 6, 2011 by the OAG. The Court denied the motion.

At the hearing yesterday, A.G. Buckingham apologized to the Court, admitting his "omission and responsibility" for failure.

As quoted by the Marianas Variety:
“I humbly offer a sincere apology to the court for these omissions, for the adverse impact they had on the administration of justice and for the time that this issue has taken away from other responsibilities of this honorable court,” Buckingham said in his written response to the Supreme Court’s show-cause order.

“I recognize the importance of the procedural deficiencies arising from this matter and commit to future improvement both for myself and the Office of the Attorney General,” Buckingham added.
AG Buckingham, Chief Prosecutor Michael Ernest and Chief of the Civil Division Gilbert Birnbich blamed the failure on the turn over of attorneys at the OAG. Buckingham submitted a written statement where he also blamed a mystery person.  He wrote, “I tasked someone to open my emails every day, and I thought it was being done. It was not. I have taken steps to ensure that the omission will not occur again.”  (Who has someone one open their emails?)

But the most interesting part of the Marianas Variety story was that the ever arrogant Buckingham refused an interview. From the Variety:
After the show-cause hearing, Buckingham met with reporters in the lobby of the judiciary building.

“No,” Buckingham told this reporter who requested for a copy of the AG’s written response to the Supreme Court.

When this reporter requested for an interview, Buckingham said: “Your newspaper is consistently biased.” He then turned around and walked away.
I guess printing the truth is considered biased by people that have something to hide.

Judge John Manglona will issue a written response.


Anonymous said...

“Who has someone [open] their emails?”

I've known several military flag officers or general officers who had a yeoman, aide, or flag lieutenant do this.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 11:19

Buckingham is no military officer. Maybe his office has become a battleground because he has made so many mistakes and crossed the line so many times that he has brought on public outrage and attacks, but he is no general. Maybe I am too much of a control freak to understand allowing anyone to read my email. At any rate it sure didn't work out, did it?

Anonymous said...

It's quite clear now: You nitpick on any seemingly negative issue that arises out of the CNMI to try and draw attention to the plight of CWs. Your strategy is to gather as many headlines as possible in the hopes that US lawmakers grant green cards to all. Well Wendy, you need to find some peace. A lobster dinner won't sway the US Congress as most of them (liberal Democrats too) wine and dine on steak and lobster at very expensive restaurants. The very act of visiting the Facebook page of Governor Fitial's wife, copying images and later posting them borders on stalking and is quite disturbing.

It's not your money! said...

Bucky accusing the Variety of bias reminds me of something Harry Truman once said. "Give 'em hell, Harry!" a man called out, to which Truman replied, "I just tell the truth on 'em, and they THINK it's hell!"

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 4:00

Bet you have a problem with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein too. No, that is not my "strategy", but I am used to the CNMI "kill the messenger" attitude and such remarks have no impact on my goals or work.

There are common threads or themes to posts on this blog. The main one concerns the de facto citizens, the disenfranchised underclass and immigration issues; the second addresses human rights concerns; the third exposes corruption and government waste; the fourth deals with environmental issues; and the last concerns social justice. Some posts fall within several categories and some fall outside, but most address one or more of these issues.

The photos were sent to me and I checked the website to investigate before posting. Looking at publicly posted photos doesn't make a person a stalker. Nit picking? I look at it as being part of the overall picture. As an artist, I know it takes many strokes to paint a picture. Think of this incident as a brushstroke in a much larger picture.

The photos are interesting and are newsworthy for many reasons. First, it appears that the purpose of this trip and many official trips is blurry or undefined. Why, as asked, are so many officials taking these trips; what were the roles of each person that went on a government-paid trip; and where are their trip reports? Money in the CNMI, the U.S. and elsewhere is tight, to say the least, so spending of public funds should be justified. And while I speak about public funds, as a federal taxpayer I am appalled with the waste of federal money in the CNMI and I intend to protest every time money is misused, every time a federal contract is violated, every time a federally funded-agency or office crosses the lines (OAG, Governor's office, PSS or any other federally funded agency.)

Second, this administration refuses to be open and continually lies to the public, which raises more questions. People wonder why did Fitial actually go to Japan? Did he have a medical procedure as he claimed? There are photos of meetings, him visiting a mother and newborn at the hospital, and, of course, photos of food. What was the purpose of that trip and who paid for that leg of the trip?

Third, it is interesting to me that so many commenters to Marianas Variety newspaper articles about Fitial's trips have remarked about steak, lobster and wine. I always thought, "Why would someone always write that?" These photos were like an aha moment to me and others.

Fourth, the photos show the attitude of the participants who appear to be enjoying their lives and flaunting it regardless of the state of the CNMI and taxpayers. Posting photos draws attention to the excesses that the officials partake in. Renting vehicles with government funds, eating at the best restaurants, staying at the most expensive hotels, making excuses for violating laws and other privileges that this administration enjoys that are far out of reach of the average citizen. The photos show the lifestyle that corruption buys. The photos show that the leaders party while the CNMI is crumbling around them. They illustrate a kind of elitist attitude that may be their downfall in the end. (Think Jack Abramoff who fell because of flaunting excesses and bribing people with food, tickets and gifts.)

If I was the subject of such photographs I would publicly disclose the receipts to prove that not one penny of funds, including those from "discretionary" funds, was not spent on the eating and partying. Not this administration -these people will toss out some denials and blame the whistleblowers, as always.

Anonymous said...

bucky is just plain deplorable as an AG and a human. sorry to say that about anyone but he has no moral or ethical boundaries.

As far as pics go, they were posted in the public domain by the guvs wife and are fair game. Don't like it? then stop stuffing your face with lobster, steak and wine on MY DIME!

Anonymous said...

yeah right puppet! it's not only their money they are spending but ours as well because we are taxpayers!