May 17, 2012
After being arrested in what appears to be more of a case of assault with a dangerous weapon (machete) than domestic violence, it was revealed that there were two outstanding bench warrants for Tagabuel. Apparently because he oversees the DPS Office of Summons and Warrants, he allowed his own warrants to be ignored.
The Saipan Tribune reported:
Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman issued two bench warrants against police sergeant Vicente O. Tagabuel –– one in 2003 for not appearing at a review hearing in a small claim matter and one in 2004 for not appearing at a status conference in a 2003 criminal case.In 2003 a warrant for a small claim matter was served and in 2004 a warrant for a criminal case was served. In that case Tagabuel failed to appear at a status conference. The charges involved with that case included, "assault with a dangerous weapon, assault, three counts of disturbing the peace, and two counts of criminal mischief for allegedly threatening Andrew Rapoulug with a machete on Dec. 29, 2002." The Tribune also states that his two appointed attorneys withdrew from the case.
Wiseman only learned that the bench warrants were never served to Tagabuel after the sergeant was taken to court for a bail hearing in a domestic case on Tuesday afternoon.
Where is the follow-up? Does the court just issue a warrant and then never followup is a hearing or conference is missed? Are there no consequences for ignoring a warrant? How many other outstanding warrants exist? The incompetence is incredible considering that the man works at DPS. It's not like Saipan is a huge city and those being served can hide.
How incredibly mindless that a person with a previous arrest for a violent crime and a December 2011 arrest for stealing utilities would even be allowed to retain a position in the DPS. Police officers should be upholding the laws and protecting the public; not breaking laws and terrorizing people with machetes!
Thelma S. Kapileo, a former DOC Juvenile Detention employee, is suing the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Melvin Faisao in his official capacity, DCCA, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, in his official capacity, and the CNMI government. The Marianas Variety reported:
Kapileo said Faisao, DCCA, and the commonwealth government violated CNMI statutory and administrative law and U.S. and CNMI constitutional due process protections.Kapileo was an employee at an emergency shelter when in August 2011 Pedro I. Sablan was arrested for sexually abusing a female child at the DYS facility.
Kapileo said Fitial and the commonwealth government failed to comply with CNMI constitutional mandates “for a functioning Civil Service by failing to duly appoint members to the Civil Service Commission, thereby interfering with plaintiff’s protected employment and due process rights.
Previous to Sablan's arrest Felix Fitial, a former DOC guard at the Juvenile Detention Center was arrested for sexually abusing several female juveniles.
Kapileo was put on work suspension without pay in September 2011 while an investigation took place. Five days later, on Sept. 27, 2011, Kapileo was given a "Notice of Proposed Adverse Action for Termination” signed by DCCA Secretary Faisao. The termination document stated:
“The specific reason for imposing this adverse action is due to your failure to effectively perform your task duties and responsibilities as an emergency shelter care taker.
As an emergency care taker you are expected to ensure that all female clients are provided a safe and secure shelter. On at least one occasion, a female detainee was sexually assaulted while under your watch by a male emergency shelter caretaker. Your actions have resulted in serious violations of not only the Standards of Conduct and is clearly a dereliction of duty.”Kapileo alleged that the CNMI administrative code was not followed by DCCA and DYS, as they failed to comply with the notice, hearing, and other procedures.
The article did not reveal if it was policy to allow a male caretaker (Pedro I. Sablan) to interact with the young female clients or what ever became of his case. It also did not reveal whether or not other DOC personnel were also terminated for similar reasons after Fitial was arrested for sexual abuse of minors.