They Will Never Learn. . .

October 10, 2012

. . . at least not until they are held accountable and face consequences.

What happens when corrupt officials are never prosecuted, never held responsible for unethical or illegal acts and are allowed to skate by with impunity every time they break the law? They defiantly continue their crooked schemes and even step them up a bit. They thumb their noses at those who would hold them accountable.

Case in point. Governor Fitial and about 45 high ranking public officials and government employees were caught in the act holding a 90-minute lunchtime Republican Party political strategy meeting on the clock (with government vehicles involved) at Poon's Chinese Restaurant.

When Marianas Variety  reporter Tammy Doty questioned the government employees they gave wise crack answers to her: "What lunch?", "There was no meeting.", "None of your business." etc.

The governor's "driver" DPS Police Captain Jermaine Nekaifes may have had the most inappropriate comment. From the Variety:
Only 40 minutes before, Fitial’s driver, DPS Police Capt. Jermaine Nekaifes asked Variety in the parking lot, “How did you know we were here…who’s your contact?” 
When this reporter replied that there were plenty of leaks in the governor’s administration Nekaifes told this reporter in front of two other witnesses, “I thought you died…too bad.”
Any legitimate police force would fire this officer. In the CNMI, he will probably get a promotion.

Nekaifes was a member of the DPS thug squad that was involved in aiding and abetting the former AG in his attempt to avoid being served a penal summons. During that incident members of the thug squad assaulted reporter Tina Sablan who attempted to video-tape the obstruction of justice and escape of fugitive Edward Buckingham.

I wonder if this pre-election strategy meeting included a discussion involving the election of the U.S. Delegate and their Republican candidate.  If so, Hatch Act violations will be filed again.

The meeting was certainly a violation of CNMI election law. P.L. 8-11, Section 8431. Use of Office, Staff or Employees of Public Office. A  public official or public employee shall not use public funds, time, personnel, facilities or equipment for political or campaign activity."

The Variety reported that when questioned, Fitial replied, "No comment." Another question might have been who picked up the tab for this political meeting?

If Fitial and former AG Buckingham had been charged with Hatch Act Violations during the last election then perhaps the governor and his Republican buddies would not have violated the CNMI election law again. Pretty gutsy since the governor is facing impeachment with one of the 16 charges cited being his role in violating election law in the 2010 election.