Senate to Investigate ARRA Contract

August 1, 2011

The Marianas Variety reports that the CNMI Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations is considering hiring an outside attorney to investigate the ARRA contract controversy.  Of course, the Office of the Public Auditor and Department of the Interior Inspector General have already conducted a thorough investigation and issued a report.

Senator Frank Q. Cruz (R-Tinian) stated that the outside attorney will focus the investigation on AG Buckingham, adding that AG Buckingham is the "main suspect."  I don't get this. Yes, he is a player and contributed to the unethical scheme, but other "main suspects" are Michael Ada and Governor Fitial who hatched the plan and IPS partner Jose Padilla.

The Senate knew of the unethical deal in October 2010, so planning an investigation after an official investigation has been completed makes little sense. Or is this somehow connected to the OPA report on the investigation of AG Buckingham questionable behavior in the election campaign of Covenant candidate Joe Camacho? Some legislators expressed concern that the OPA report was not made public. Many eyebrows have also been raised by the fact that the AG is suing the OPA, another CNMI government agency. This is not something that is usually done and many consider it retaliation for the unfavorable OPA report that found that the AG was involved in unethical behavior during the last election campaign.

Buckingham hired attorney Anthony Long at a cost of $12,940 to defend himself against the alleged election violations.  The bill was charged to the CNMI government. How much would hiring another outside attorney cost the cash-strapped CNMI? Considering there would be no need for another investigation it seems like just another waste of money.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a perfect job for former Attorney General Robert Tenorio Torres. He'll get to the bottom of this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:23

An investigation was already done. No need to have anyone do another one. The bottom line is that the criminal acts should be prosecuted. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Kilili update VP Joe Biden and see if HE can force a prosecution?