Police Cover-Up?

May 13, 2012

The Saipan Tribune disclosed that a DPS police sergeant was arrested for domestic violence. It is nothing extraordinary in the CNMI where it is routine that officers are arrested. What is extraordinary is that he had a previous domestic violence case on November 4, 2011 and he was not charged for that incident and maintained his position with DPS. Perhaps if he had been charged and jailed then, he would not have been free to commit his latest offense.

Sgt. Vicente Tagabuel was charged with another offense. In December 2011 he was served with a penal summons to appear in the Superior Court for the theft of utilities services. Apparently he was allowed to maintain his job with DPS despite that charge also.

The Saipan Tribune reported:
When asked about the filing of the theft case, Attorney General Edward T. Buckingham at that time stated that the OAG endeavors to uphold justice regardless of rank, familial ties, or one's career path.

Buckingham said that consistent with the criminal information that has been filed, they believe that Tagabuel committed the crime of theft of utility services. He said the presentation of evidence and information will be presented in its proper forum-a court of law.

“We respect that any accused person is presumed innocent and the Office of the Attorney General is required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
The Tagabuel utility theft seemed no big deal to the OAG and DPS since he was not suspended from his position.

But utility theft was a big deal in another case. Public Auditor Michael Pai's wife, Joanna Pai, was charged with utility theft and the story made the headlines. AG Buckingham reportedly went after Pai because her husband's office released a damning report on the AG's illegal election activities. Many saw the charges against Joanna Pai as the AG's personal vendetta.

The case against Mrs. Pai was dismissed yesterday since she did not even own the business that allegedly stole utilities. Judge Perry Inos said that "the CNMI government failed to show, under its own factual allegations, that Mrs. Joanna C. Pai received a direct benefit from the theft of utility services." The OAG was given ten days to amend its case.

What happened to the Tagabuel utility theft charges?

Tagabuel was also the subject of another controversy. In 2010 it was alleged that Tagabeul was re-hired at DPS because Fitial had ordered it. This came up in the lawsuit that some DPS officers filed against DPS for hiring and promotion discrimination. Is this officer receiving special treatment?

It looks like details of the domestic violence charge are being kept from the public. Tagabuel was arrested on Sunday, but days later on Tuesday it was reported that no charges had been filed. He is being held at the Department of Corrections. Why haven't charges been filed, and why are rogue cops allowed to maintain their positions after they break laws and put innocent people in harms way?


Anonymous said...

viva chamorro viva carolinian
blood is thicker than water...

Anonymous said...

It was also reported that "he was disarmed after he and his children beat up his ex wife" on this occasion.
So where are his "children"? Why have they not been "detained"

Also just what is "semi-domestic" violence involving a family dispute?

Why is this guy still "detained" without charges? I though that there had to be charges filed within 24 hrs.
This guy is most likely wondering around the cop shop talking and hanging out with the rest of the staff getting free meals ect.
I watched this on Tinian once. The cop was "detained" for a bar fight and was "detained". But in Tinian and Rota anybody has to be sent to Saipan (or released)as soon a possible to appear for bail hearing and arraignment as the facilities are not "approved" for more than over night stay.
This sure looks funny and has not even been attempted to be covered.
But he has the correct name.
This place is looking more and more like the South in the late 50's and early 60's.