Appeals to Attorney General Eric Holder for Justice in the CNMI

October 30 2012

U.S. Delegate Gregorio Sablan has launched an on-line petition calling for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the ongoing corruption in the CNMI. The delegate and countless others also sent letters to the U.S. Attorney General to appeal for investigation and reform. I know I have.

The U.S. Department of Justice has an obligation to investigate corruption and to prosecute offenders. It has the duty to investigate discrimination in federal offices, including the NAP Office. It has a responsibility to enforce federal laws, including election laws. The U.S. Department of Justice should work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ensure security is not compromised and reporters and citizens are protected from law-breaking police officers at international airports. The U.S. Department of Justice must investigate and prosecute hate crimes. It has an obligation to challenge CNMI labor and immigration laws that conflict with the U.S. Constitution and preempt federal law, just as it did in Arizona and other states.

The U.S. Department of Justice should send in a team of civil rights and criminal attorneys to thoroughly investigate the obstruction of justice carried out by law enforcement officials in an attempt to help fugitive Edward Buckingham avoid being served a penal summons.

Anti-corruption advocate Edward Probst stated disappointment with the refusal of the U.S. Attorney for Guam and the NMI ignoring the blatant and ongoing criminal activity and corruption crimes. The Saipan Tribune quoted him:
Propst said Limtiaco has a “hands off” approach to two major law violations-the sole-source ARRA contract, of which the Office of the Inspector General put together a report on the blatant violations, and the human rights violations when a federal detainee was released from prison to give the CNMI governor a “midnight massage.” 
“Can you imagine how fearful she must have been? What a travesty of justice. The CNMI needs its own U.S. Attorney, or Alicia Limtiaco needs to be replaced. I'd be fine with either outcome,” Propst added.
Perhaps there should also be an investigation to determine exactly why Limitiaco has not done her job to the detriment of the people of the CNMI. It is unlikely, but could the USDOJ actually be investigating the blatant CNMI corruption? If so, a statement should be issued. If not, why not?

What happened to equal justice for all?  The United States has ignored the abuses in the CNMI for decades. The U.S. allowed thousands of foreign contract workers to have their wages stolen and in doing so treated their employer-thieves with impunity.  The U.S.DOJ did nothing when an on-duty police officer beat an innocent foreign worker so brutally that he has permanent injuries from the attack. The criminal officer is a current member of the DPS thug-squad.

Days ago another DPS officer was arrested for a DUI hit and run and charged with 11 violations, but he was only issued a traffic citation. The intoxicated officer was driving a government vehicle when he hit a Filipina woman and fled the scene. Reports state that he has been caught driving drunk before and yet remained as a member of the DPS thug-squad, allowed to drive a federally funded government vehicle.  What say you federal officials? Would a criminal arrest have been made if the victim was a prominent local?

Numerous other members of the DPS thug squad and fire fighters are former felons or have criminal records. These include the acting DPS Commissioner and his brother who is the Deputy Commissioner.

Officers who testified truthfully at recent impeachment proceedings were retaliated against by being transferred under orders from high-ranking DPS thug squad members. These same high ranking officers invoked the Fifth Amendment, rather than tell the truth when it was their turn to testify. Where is the U.S. Department of Justice?

Governor Fitial, his press secretary and his political co-conspirators think that since the impeachment effort resulted in defeat all must now be forgotten. They believe that they can continue on with their merry campaign of corruption that is destroying the quality of life for the people of the CNMI, emptying the coffers, and poisoning every department and agency.

And why shouldn't they? The United States Government has refused to enforce laws in the CNMI for decades.  Without consequences, the corruption will only grow. One would have expected that the days when a bully governor and his minions could rule as dictators on U.S. soil would be over.  Without strong U.S. intervention the days of corruption will never end.

The governor controls the Office of the Attorney General and has manipulated it to push his unethical and disastrous agenda.  The Department of Public Safety has been reduced to the governor's private mafia-like thug squad.

The flagrant disregard for the law and ethics policies is unprecedented.  How can a fair election be assured without the USDOJ sending in a team to oversee it?

Acting AG Viola Alepuyo, who occupies her position illegally, stated over three weeks ago that she would conduct a press conference to tell the public why Emie Romero's murderer has not been charged. She did not hold the conference. Is it because the murderer should have never been paroled? Is it because he was arrested for drug possession in January 2012, should have been in jail, but instead he was free to murder Emie? Was it because acting AG Alepuyo's husband, Judge Joseph Camacho, was overseeing the murderer's probation violation and drug case? What is the status of  this case and other serious cases? Is there even a functioning CNMI Office of the Attorney General?

Meanwhile the Commonwealth Healthcare Center Corporation reportedly opposes the recommendations of a report by Health Tech, a company commissioned by the DOI. Fear of privatization said to be the reason for the opposition, but it appears that they just want to maintain their positions and status quo.

Currently the CHCC is under the direct control of Governor Fitial and his puppet appointees, including CEO Juan Babauta. The governor once again has declared that the CHCC is under "state of emergency"status, giving the governor control over the corporation.

CHCC is in a deplorable state. It is unable to meet regular payroll and contractual obligations including housing for off-island nurses and physicians. It is unable to pay vendors for needed supplies and it is  incapable of replacing broken or outdated equipment.

The ridiculously low budget allotted by the CNMI Government does not even allow for the required local Medicaid and Medicare matches.  Recently the hospital was deemed to be in immediate jeopardy status by a visiting team from the U.S Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Every agency controlled by the governor and his allies has failed or is destined to fail.

How long will justice be a doormat for the corrupt Administration? What will it take to institute reform? It is obvious that the federal officials must take action when corruption reaches unbearable levels and local law enforcement agencies refuse to do their jobs or worse, are part of the corruption.

We should note the courageous hands-on role that former U.S. Attorney General, Robert Kennedy took in the civil rights movement and to work with Cesar Chavez to ensure justice for migrant farmers. His example should be applied to the injustices in the CNMI today. We must call upon U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step up and act now. Please support justice, sign this petition HERE.


Anonymous said...

Can Holder shut down DPS and order in national guard? What can he do? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

No he can't. Only the President could give such an order. Attorney General Eric Holder is under a Federal investigation himself - by both Republicans and Democrats supporting it. Federal officers were killed under his watch and yes there was a cover up. The CNMI is a tiny speck in a sea of Washington corruption. There are numerous ethics violations and indictments on both sides. Federal money will continue to assist the insular areas regardless who is the Governor. During Juan Nekai Babauta's Administration then Attorney General Robert Torres wanted a special prosecutor - investigator to investigate numerous violations, ethics violations, corruption, bribery you name it. Babauta simply fired the entire AGO. Guess who took over from there ?