CNMI Political Games

August 17, 2011

In and Out and In and Out and In...

Ambrosio Ogumoro has been reinstated as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the third time.  Hired, fired, hired fired. Not too weird!

Read Also:
He's Back
Election Gate: A Look at the Hatch Act
Expungement Act of 2010
Another Complaint Against Deputy Commissioner Ogumoro
Complaints Filed Against CNMI Officials
Law and No Order in the CNMI: Part II
Law and No Order in the CNMI
CNMI Law Enforcement Notes

CNMI Senate Wants Attorney General Investigated

The CNMI Senate wants the CNMI Bar association to "investigate" Attorney General Buckingham regarding his approval of the questionable ARRA contract. The Senate adopted Resolution 17-62 to inspire the investigation with the Bar and Resolution 17-63 calling for the Office of the Public Auditor to "supplement" the DOI Inspector General's report. Since the report was written in cooperation with the OPA I am not sure what they mean.

Instead of also supporting an investigation of Governor Fitial, Michael Ada, Procurement and Supply Director Herman Sablan and other parties involved in writing and endorsing the contract, the senators referred to them as "victims" excusing their unethical behavior.

From the Saipan Tribune:
“It appears that Attorney General Edward Buckingham approved the sole-source contract knowing that Michael Ada had a conflict of interest and there were ethical concerns regarding the contract. .It further appears that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial and Procurement and Supply's Herman Sablan approved the sole-source contract based on Attorney General Edward Buckingham's legal review and approval of the contract,” the resolution reads.

It also says Buckingham has an ethical duty and obligation to uphold the Constitution and laws of the CNMI at all times, “which he failed to do when he approved the sole-source contract knowing that there were ethical concerns with the contract.”

The Interior's IG investigated allegations of fraud connected to the sole-source award of the ARRA management contract to Ada's IPS. The contract award came just a few days after Ada resigned as Commerce secretary and as CNMI lead for the ARRA program, raising ethical concerns on post-employment restrictions, restraint on use of public position to obtain private benefit, and negotiating for non-government employment, among other things.

The resolution says Buckingham was also investigated for violating the CNMI Ethics Code when he hosted a political gathering at his residence for a candidate during the November 2010 election.
Too little, too late.

Even if the AG was disbarred or resigned, what about the other players?  Shouldn't an independent counsel be appointed to investigate and prosecute everyone who had a role? Doesn't the governor also have an obligation to uphold the constitution and laws of the CNMI?


Anonymous said...

These do nothing clowns on the hill are most likely following orders from Fital to try and divert the blame away from Fitial and Ada by issuing a non binding resolution against the AG.
Looks like Fitial is about to make the AG the scapegoat in this debacle.
And what will the outcome be in regards into the contract?
Seems that all agree that this is an Illegal contract.
So why has it (contract)not been rescinded and the money returned to the Feds?
Why has the Feds not insisted on this?
This is just another show with smoke and mirrors that someone is concerned by making the AG, who was following Fitial's orders, who is non indigenous, the fall guy.
And yet, again, the people still say or do nothing, like scared sheep. Pathetic.

Green Cards for All! said...

Haole Attorneys General have been the governor's legislative and public lightning rod for decades.

For non-indigenous AGs it is part of the unwritten job description. Everyone is aware of this in deciding whether or not to serve in this capacity.

Absense of any fixed term of office (removable without cause by the governor) and lack of control of the OAG budget (like the Public Auditor has over his office) are two structural shortcomings that must be fixed if we want a more independent AG.

These two needed improvements are even more important than selection method (appointment versus election). The salary should also be raised to be equal to that of a Superior Court Associate Judge [for the next AG], if we want to attract and retain suitably qualified individuals.

Anonymous said...

Saipan and it's politics aren't even on the stove at this point. Re posting variety news onto a blog site will not garner the attention of members of Congress to jump up and down demanding all CWs get green cards or "better status". Nobody cares if the AG is disbarred, rebarred or sent packing. Sometimes it's better to not get so much attention from people who may want to help but are afraid of committing political suicide. The more attention that you bring to CWs the further the most ultra left wing Democrat will run. This is an election year and Obama is hanging on by a thread riding around in that pimped out bus.

Anonymous said...

She's not reposting news, but commenting on it. Did it say here she was writing this post on behalf of CWs? Did I miss that? Sounds like a dumb argument you have there.

Anonymous said...

All this attention focused on CWs has not done them any favors. In fact, it may have sealed their fate. If done quietly and without all the drama I'll bet legislation granting green cards would have been granted.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 8:18

This is EXACTLY what a staff member from Congressman Sablan's office tried to express (although not so nicely) to try to get advocates to back off. Rather a ridiculous statement. You bet they would have had green cards already? From what bill? Who would have introduced that? Seriously, sit silently while members of the U.S. Congress propose to throw 12,000 LEGAL, LONG-TERM FOREIGN WORKERS under the bus? We should sit back silently and watch them leave? We should sit silently while members of the U.S. Congress propose PERMANENT RESIDENCY FOR ILLEGALS and some sub-human CNMI-only disenfranchised status for LEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS? No way! Such a pathetic statement in an effort to silence the people standing up for justice and democratic principles. This kind of twisted rhetoric inspires me to do more. The letters to the editors of major U.S. newspapers in districts that the co-sponsors of the bill represent go out next week! This Fall we hit the Hill! Silent? WE WILL SHOUT! Push us a little, and we will push back 100 times harder. It's time to pull out the aces.

Green Cards for All! said...

Go Wendy, go!

All those documents showing $6.1M in unpaid wages might be on point in this discussion.

That would be a lot of paper, so it might help of you have someone with a scanner who can turn them into Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

I agree with the earlier commenter that an “under the radar” might have worked better, but it is a bit late in the day for that.

The greatest threat to guest workers’ continued livelihoods in the CNMI is the economic collapse triggered by federalization without any sort of economic study or social/ environmental impact report. This was all so foreseeable, which is why I opposed federalization as enacted.

Wendy Doromal said...

Green Cards for All

The documents (Administrative Orders from DOL) are scanned and were made available to members of Congress and others. What is so disgusting about the documents too is that they reveal that some of the employers who cheated the workers were allowed to hire more workers to abuse over the years, and others are well-known people in the CNMI who advanced their lives by stepping on the backs of the foreign workers.

Anonymous said...

Noni 8:18 said, "All this attention focused on CWs has not done them any favors. In fact, it may have sealed their fate. If done quietly and without all the drama I'll bet legislation granting green cards would have been granted."

Wendy has done a valuable service to the CWs by bringing attention to their fate and keeping their message alive. Silence will seal their fate. This is an underhanded attempt to say that people who support justice should shut up. Shout it up girl!