Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres nominated Wesley M. Bogdan on Friday to serve as an associate judge on the CNMI Superior Court. His confirmation will require the advice and consent of the Senate.
“Wesley has been a trusted member of my staff since Day One. His understanding of the law is exceptional, but more so, I firmly believe his work ethic, good judgment and legal experiences will make him a great judge—as will his love for the Mariana Islands. Choosing Wes for this position is bittersweet. I will be losing a trusted [adviser] and a tireless advocate for the CNMI, especially with regard to issues relating to the military, the environment and our rights under the Covenant, but I am confident in his abilities and have no doubt that he will serve the CNMI with dignity and integrity as a member of the Judiciary,” Torres said.
Bogdan’s nomination to the position is intended to replace David Wiseman, who retired in May last year.
Bogdan is currently the legal counsel to the Office of the Governor and worked in that same capacity during the administration of then-governor Eloy S. Inos. Before serving in the Inos and Torres administrations, he served as legal counsel for Jude U. Hofschneider when he was the lieutenant governor.
A juris doctorate graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law, Bogdan holds a bachelor’s degree in business and political science from the University of Texas and received his certification from the CNMI Bar Association in 1998. He is also an inactive member of the New Mexico Bar Association.
After graduating from law school in his home state of New Mexico, he worked as a judicial clerk for the New Mexico Court of Appeals in Albuquerque from 1992 to 1994. Following that experience, he moved to the CNMI in 1994 and has worked in the government as an assistant attorney general and assistant public defender. He has also worked in private practice in the Law Offices of Brian McMahon, Eric Smith, Joshua Berger and the O’Connor, Berman, Dotts, and Banes Law Firm.
Bogdan also worked off-island approximately three years as the deputy director of the Legal Department for the Asian Football Confederation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 2009 to 2012.
Since returning to the CNMI, Bogdan has worked exclusively during the last four years in the Executive Branch as legal counsel and senior policy adviser on all legal issues and environmental matters, particularly with respect to military affairs such as the proposed location and construction activities associated with the U.S. Air Force’s divert project and the U.S. Marine Corps CNMI Joint Military Training Project.
Bogdan was also chief legal counsel to Torres during the recently completed Covenant Section 902 consultations that were completed late last year. The consultations were the first to result in a report to the President that has been transmitted to Congress.
Bogdan has also served as a former chairman for CNMI Bar Association continuing legal education committee and as a member CNMI Bar Association disciplinary committee. He is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College program and has a specialty certificate in Environmental Law from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
Bogdan has also been active within the community serving as a judge for mock trial and speech competitions and is currently an adjunct instructor of business law at the Northern Marianas College. He has also been active in the local sports community as a youth team coach and as an executive committee member of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association. (PR)