U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has recused herself from the Commonwealth Ports Authority’s $1-million lawsuit against Texas-based contractor Leo A. Daly Co.
In an order Tuesday, Manglona said her brother, Thomas Kiyu Villagomez, recently became a director of the CPA board.
“Accordingly, I recuse myself from this proceeding,” Manglona said.
She noted that a judge must disqualify herself where her “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” She said this includes situations where “ a person within the third degree of relationship to [the judge]…[is] an officer, director, or trustee of a party.”
Manglona said that District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood will preside in her stead.
CPA filed the lawsuit against Leo Daly in February 2012 for the alleged faulty construction of the Tinian airport’s departure terminal.
Early this year CPA also filed a $1-million lawsuit against Leo Daly and the CNMI-based contractor GPPC for their work at the Saipan International Airport that were later allegedly found non-compliant with typhoon and earthquake standards.