Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations chair Frank Cruz (R-Tinian) said yesterday that the governor's attorney general nominee, Joey Patrick San Nicolas, will be treated similar to other appointees who have come before the Senate amid questions on San Nicolas' residency.
“We're going to treat everyone the same as all those nominees that are sent to the Senate. We will proceed with the public hearing once we get all the required documents,” Cruz told Saipan Tribune yesterday.
However, he said nothing stops the public from submitting comments to the committee about the nominee this early.
Cruz said the Senate legal counsels are now looking into San Nicolas' residency, after concerns were raised that he may not have met the constitutional requirement of residing in the CNMI at least three years “immediately preceding” his confirmation.
San Nicolas' nomination by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial requires the Senate's advice and consent.
Cruz said that, although the Fitial administration and the Office of the Attorney General came up with its formal position on the residency issue, the Senate will have its independent review of the constitutional provisions relating to residency requirement for AG nominees.
San Nicolas worked as assistant attorney general for the Guam Attorney General’s Office from February 2011 to January 2012.
Press secretary Angel Demapan and the OAG separately said San Nicolas meets the constitutional residency requirement. They said San Nicolas never claimed residency in any other jurisdiction.
As of yesterday, the EAGI Committee has yet to receive required documents including the nominee's resume, police clearance, statement of financial interest, and evidence of compliance with the mandatory drug screening.
Demapan said yesterday the AG nominee is now preparing these documents for submission.
Senate President Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) said a public hearing may be held after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.