Former Commonwealth Ports Authority board member Raynaldo M. Cing and 13th Tinian Municipal Council member Patrick A. Manglona filed yesterday a lawsuit over the alleged illegal and unethical appointment and confirmation of Don A. Farrell as a commissioner on the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission.
Cing filed the lawsuit for himself and on behalf of NMI taxpayers, while Manglona brought the lawsuit in his official capacity.
Cing and Manglona are suing Farrell, Tinian Mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz, Tinian Department of Public Works deputy director and 13th Tinian Municipal Council member Estevan P. Cabrera, and Tinian Department of Land and Natural Resources deputy director and 13th Tinian Municipal Council member Joseph SN. Cruz.
Cing is suing defendants Dela Cruz, Cabrera, and Cruz for taxpayer's right of action: illegal expenditure of public funds, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Cing and Manglona are suing Mayor Dela Cruz for breach of trust.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory relief and injunction against all defendants.
Saipan Tribune tried but failed to contact the defendants for comment.
The plaintiffs, through counsel Ramon K. Quichocho, asked the Superior Court to declare the appointment and confirmation of Farrell as illegal and unethical, and therefore null and void.
Cing and Manglona asked the court to declare that Mayor Dela Cruz violated the Government Ethics Code Act when he appointed his brother-in-law Farrell to serve as a commissioner on the Gaming Commission.
Quichocho said Mayor Dela Cruz violated the Gaming Initiative by failing to publish within 45 days, in a newspaper, a list of qualified candidates that includes “nominees from all Tinian political parties which were registered with the Commonwealth Board of Elections.”
Quichocho said Cabrera and Cruz failed to exercise due diligence before confirmation as Farrell is “of questionable moral character.”
The lawyer said Farrell conflicted himself from making any decisions with regards to casino investor Neo Goldwings Paradise because he went with Mayor Dela Cruz on an all-expenses-paid trip to Korea at the expense of New Goldwings Paradise.
The plaintiffs requested the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop Farrell from performing as a Gaming commissioner pending the resolution and final disposition of this lawsuit.
Quichocho said Mayor Dela Cruz appointed Farrell for a full six-year term as Gaming commissioner on Sept. 4, 2012.
Quichocho said that, on Sept. 10, 2012, Cing objected to the alleged unethical and illegal appointment of Farrell for the Gaming Commission.
The lawyer said that, three days later, without properly addressing the legal concerns pointed out by Cing, Cabrera and Cruz purportedly confirmed Farrell's appointment at another venue that was not announced.