November 23, 2012

U.S. Department of Interior Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs Tony Babauta was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation concerning travel within the OIA and a grant that was awarded by the office.  A press release form the DOI:
The Interior Department's Inspector General is currently conducting an investigation concerning the Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas. 
While the Department has not reached any conclusions, the Assistant Secretary has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. 
Eileen Sobeck has been named Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas and will lead the Insular Affairs team during this period. She previously served as Interior’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.  
Blake Androff Deputy Director of Communications U.S. Department of the Interior
The Saipan Tribune reported that sources said that the assistant secretary "may be on his way out of the Obama Administration" yet other sources caution that the investigation is ongoing and no conclusions have been made.

Babauta was nominated in July 2009 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September 2009.


Members of the CNMI House are committed to impeaching Governor Fitial to end corruption and fraud. Rep. Joseph Deleon Guerrero will be the new Speaker of the 18th House.

From the Saipan Tribune:
Deleon Guerrero said a Special Committee on Impeachment will begin preliminary work so that when the new Legislature comes in next year, they will be able to go full speed. 
He said the panel will start reviewing the report prepared by the Special Committee on Impeachment he led. 
Deleon Guerrero is the main author of the resolution impeaching Gov. Benigno R. Fitial for 16 allegations of corruption, neglect of duty, and felony.  
The impeachment was defeated by the current majority aligned with the governor. But because most of the elected and re-elected House members advocated impeachment and clean government, they said they are going to “finish what we started in the 17th Legislature.” 
Deleon Guerrero said the coalition will fulfill the mandate given them by voters: to remove the governor.


The Saipan Blogger said...

The article gives the impression Babauta has been a naughty boy.

Anonymous said...

Someone within the OIA blew the whistle on Babauta. This will go deeper into the rabbit hole for sure. When the Feds investigate their own it's serious and usually dealt with harshly. I wonder if this will spread to the CNMI?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone understand vendettas by disgruntled employees who are expected to work but have gotten lazy from years and years in government jobs that take an act of Congress (sarcasism) to fire? Babauta has does more for the Insular Areas in his 3 years then any other head of OIA ever accomplished including DAS Cohen.

Anonymous said...

2:24 Really? Like what has he done?

Anonymous said...

I don't know, let's see: gathering public private stakeholders to determine what skills are needed for workers to build the CNMI economy and then putting $$ where his mouth is, speaking truth to elected leaders of the CNMI to make sure that the most needed projects get CIP $$, working with federal partners to extend FICA exemptions to alien workers, gathering federal partners to make sure parole is available to all those that can possibly qualify, making $$ available to all projects that can save power and health care in the CNMI, making local leaders think beyond the here and now and look to potential alternative energy sources, expanding as much as possible the status of alien workers and their children, insuring continued tourism with parole for Chinese and Russian tourists and that's just in the CNMI. What did Cohen do, or Aranza or Stayman or Turner or Montoya or whoever else held the position? Just one example of a knowledgable leader of an office whose mission is the insular areas.