August 9, 2012
CNMI House Resolution 17-106
It is unacceptable that an attorney general would not respond to a court order. The choice to continue a vacation rather than to cancel it for a mandated court appearance was a serious unethical choice for any person, but especially for an attorney general. The decision AG Edward Buckingham made to thumb his nose at the CNMI court and the Office of the Public Auditor by continuing his vacation rather than immediately returning to the CNMI after he learned that a bench warrant was issued for his arrest is reprehensible behavior. AG Edward Buckingham must be immediately removed from office.
The Saipan Tribune reports:
In issuing a bench warrant, Superior Court associate judge David A. Wiseman directed Department of Public Safety acting commissioner Aniceto Ogumoro to arrest attorney general Edward Taylor Buckingham for his failure to appear at the hearing on Monday.
As of yesterday, Office of Public Auditor counsel George Hasselback said they are still looking for options on how to serve the bench warrant to Buckingham, who is reportedly now in the U.S. mainland.
In the bench warrant issued he signed on Tuesday, Wiseman ordered the DPS commissioner or any law enforcement officer to bring Buckingham before the Superior Court without any unnecessary delay.Can the CNMI law enforcement bring this rogue AG to justice? They cannot even make an arrest in Emie's January 2012 murder case. They cannot even prosecute former Police Chief Ramon Mafnas who abused his authority in threatening innocent civilians. Some of their own have been arrested in recent years for serious crimes. Sadly, it is doubtful that justice will be served unless Buckingham has even a shred of self-respect and even a drop of moral responsibility and will return on his own. That too is doubtful.
Some CNMI House members are requesting that Buckingham resign. House Resolution 17-106 asks the governor to request that Buckingham resign. It is noteworthy that the resolution was signed by members across party lines, including five members of the governor's own Republican Party.
The resolution notes that Buckingham "has clearly, through his actions and omissions, lost the confidence of the House of Representatives and the People of the CNMI."
Angel Demapan the governor's spokesperson gave his usual response, "The governor has not received or seen it yet." (Read more at the Saipan Tribune.) Still, Governor Fitial issued a statement saying "publicly commenting at this time is not appropriate."
Perhaps because the governor is being investigated for ordering the escort service? Does anyone doubt that the governor either arranged or had a hand in sending the high-ranking law enforcement officials and their team of thugs to aide the attorney general in obstructing justice by trying to evade being served the court summons? Please!
KSPN news reported that the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs is "monitoring corruption allegations" regarding the CNMI's top law enforcement officials. Babauta was quoted saying:
"OIA is aware of the allegations of illegal activities against those entrusted by the community for their public service which tend to tarnish the reputations of countless others in work in government. Public Corruption is intolerable. The OIA has worked closely with island leadership to promote transparent and accountable governments and will continue to watch this case as it develops. We are pleased that these matters are being swiftly acted upon by the CNMI executive and judicial branches."What exactly has the executive branch done in this matter except to fail to respond or comment? How can the executive branch act on this matter when it is alleged that the executive branch's leader, Governor Fitial is implicated in the obstruction of justice?
When will the DOI Insular Affairs Office stop pumping money into a corrupt system? It seems that every few months an OIA official stops by the CNMI to pass out checks. Why are departments and agencies that have continually abused federal funds and resources, that are corrupt, that cannot and do not follow policies and laws always rewarded with more of the U.S. taxpayers money? Where is the oversight?
This story is going to go viral soon. Individuals have already contacted national and international media outlets. The scandal has reached the pages of Wikipedia, which focuses on his most recent illegal act of fleeing from a court summons to avoid prosecution. You can run, but you can't hide...