The need to issue an injunction against Don A. Farrell has become moot in light of his resignation as commissioner of the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission, according to Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho yesterday.
“In other words there is no conduct which needs to be enjoined,” said Camacho in his order denying a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Raynaldo M. Cing and Patrick A. Manglona.
“The court expects citizens to obey the law-the defendants in this case are no different,” the judge said.
The judge issued the order shortly after hearing the parties' oral arguments yesterday afternoon.
Attorneys Ramon Quichocho and Michael N. Evangelista appeared on behalf of Cing and Manglona. Attorney Sean Frink appeared as counsel for Tinian Mayor Ramon M. Dela Cruz and Farrell.
Dela Cruz appointed Farrell to a full six-year term as gaming commissioner on Sept. 4, 2012. On Oct. 4, 2012, Farrell resigned. Dela Cruz accepted the resignation effective that same day.
In plaintiffs' motion, Quichocho argued that the court should grant a preliminary injunction stopping Farrell from performing any duties as a gaming commissioner pending the resolution and final disposition of the case.
Quichocho said the court should also stop the defendants from further appointing and confirming gaming commissioners pending the final disposition of the case.
He said the issue is not moot because Farrell can easily rescind his resignation letter.
“We should stop this sovereign mayor! He's stronger than the court. That's scary. Are we going to wait for another illegal act?” Quichocho asked.
Frink argued that the injunction has been rendered moot by Farrell's resignation. He said there is no further reason to enjoin Farrell as he no longer serves in the position of gaming commissioner.
Frink said the second request for injunction to prohibit possible future illegal activity is unsupported by any allegations in the complaint or the motion.
Frink said it is speculative at best as there is no basis to conclude that such activities will likely, or even may, take place.
“The bottom line is there's no illegal activity to enjoin with,” the lawyer stressed.
In their lawsuit, plaintiffs Cing and Manglona asked the court to declare the appointment and confirmation of Farrell as illegal and unethical, and therefore null and void.
The plaintiffs also asked the court to declare that 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.
Cing and Manglona filed the lawsuit against Farrell, Dela Cruz, Tinian Department of Public Works deputy director and 13th Tinian Municipal Council members Estevan P. Cabrera, and Joseph SN. Cruz.
Yesterday, the plaintiffs filed a notice to dismiss from the lawsuit Cabrera and Joseph Cruz with prejudice and without prejudice, respectively.
Last month, Camacho granted plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order to stop Farrell from performing as gaming commissioner.