The Inos administration has renewed the contract of Alan Fletcher, the highest ranking official at the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., who was earlier fired by Gov. Eloy S. Inos' predecessor, Benigno R. Fitial, due to some differences.
Fletcher's contract was renewed for another two-year term as deputy executive director of CUC.
Fletcher's original two-year contract was not renewed by the former governor and his last day was supposed to be on Feb. 28, 2013. By then, however, Fitial had already resigned and Inos extended Fletcher's contract for another 30 days. That 30-day extension was to expire today, March 22.
Press secretary Angel A. Demapan confirmed Fletcher's contract renewal yesterday, adding that the decision was in consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Gov. Inos has renewed Mr. Fletcher's contract as deputy director. As was his initial contract, this renewal is with EPA consultation and approval,” Demapan told Saipan Tribune, adding that Fletcher will continue as the agency's deputy officer for the water and wastewater division.
Fletcher is currently off-island and unable to comment on his re-appointment.
The primary responsibility of the deputy executive director is to oversee all drinking water and wastewater operations and compliance activities and deliverables, on a daily basis.
CUC has been under an emergency declaration since May 2012. It has had no permanent executive director since June 24, 2012, when Abe Utu Malae quit.
In an earlier statement, Demapan said that without a permanent executive director, Fletcher is expected to continue serving the post in an interim capacity.
Both deputy director and executive director posts are requirements of federal stipulated orders for CUC. A few months ago, former governor Fitial submitted to EPA four executive director candidates for its concurrence. EPA later found these nominees unqualified.
CUC is still under a state of emergency and is working to address the requirements of two stipulated orders. These orders represent the agreement between the CNMI and EPA based on the requirements of the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.