A teacher assistant filed yesterday in Superior Court a taxpayers' lawsuit for the alleged illegal and unethical confirmation of the appointment of Lydia F. Barcinas as commissioner of the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission.
Ricardo S. Quichocho also named defendants in the lawsuit 13th Tinian Municipal Council members Estevan P. Cabrera and Joseph SN. Cruz.
Barcinas is a former chief executive officer of the Tinian Mayor's Office. Cabrera is also deputy director of the Tinian Department of Public Works, while Cruz is deputy director of the Tinian Department of Lands and Natural Resources.
Quichocho is suing Cabrera and Cruz for taxpayer's right of action: illegal expenditure of public funds, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of the Open Government Meetings and Records Act.
Saipan Tribune tried but failed to obtain comments from Cabrera and Cruz.
Quichocho wants the court to declare Barcinas' confirmation as illegal and unethical, therefore null and void.
He wants the court to declare Cabrera and Cruz in violation of the Government Ethics Code Act and the Open Government Meetings and Records Act.
He is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent Barcinas from performing her duties as gaming commissioner pending the resolution and final disposition of the case.
Also, he wants the court to issue a TRO and preliminary injunction to stop Cabrera and Cruz from confirming other appointees.
Quichocho cited a separate lawsuit filed by Raynaldo M. Cing and Tinian councilman Patrick A. Manglona, where they successfully obtained a TRO against Cabrera, Cruz, Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz, and Don Farrell. That lawsuit prompted Farrell to resign the gaming commissioner's position.
Subsequently, the mayor appointed two nominees: Barcinas and Matthew C. Masga.
On Oct. 10, 2012, the Tinian Municipal Council confirmed the appointment of Masga only, with the only non-conflicted council member, Patrick A. Manglona, voting, Quichocho said.
According to him, on Oct. 20, 2012, Cabrera and Cruz confirmed Barcinas' appointment. Since that confirmation, Mayor Dela Cruz re-hired his brother-in-law, Farrell, for the $60,000 per year position as chief executive officer of the mayor's office.
Attorneys Ramon K. Quichocho and Michael N. Evangelista are counsels for plaintiff Ricardo Quichocho.
The plaintiff is attorney Quichocho's adopted brother. Attorneys Quichocho and Evangelista are also counsels for Raynaldo M. Cing and Patrick A. Manglona who sued over the appointment of Farrell as gaming commissioner.