Attorney Joyce Tang, the newly appointed settlement fund trustee, assures retirees and the public that she will be very accessible to them.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, Tang said that acting NMI Retirement Fund administrator Lillian Pangelinan is extremely capable and has an excellent team. All 18 Fund employees will be coming over to the settlement fund.
“To deal with daily questions we will certainly make sure our staff is [and] has always been quite knowledgeable and informative. We will continue to provide that level of service,” Tang said.
At the Betty Johnson’s class action fairness hearing on Monday, Lorenzo Cabrera of the Commonwealth Retirees Association, stated among other things, that Tang will not be accessible to retirees as she is based in Guam, and that class representative Johnson is not from the CNMI.
But in the interview after the hearing, Tang vowed that she will make herself available when she is here on Saipan and that they will have regular meetings.
“I will do my best to accommodate the retirees,” she added.
Tang assured that there will be some community meetings with the retirees, lawmakers, and Gov. Eloy Inos. In fact, Tang said that she just talked to Inos on Sunday to work out a schedule to accomplish these meetings.
The federal court appointed Tang and the Civille & Tang law firm as trustee who will run the settlement fund created under the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement requires the court to appoint the trustee, possessing all the powers of a federal receiver.
In a separate interview, assistant attorney general Reena Patel said it was good for U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to hear the objections and concerns of retirees at the fairness hearing.
Patel said it was also good for members of the Legislature who were in court to hear those objections.
“It was a very difficult decision to make the provisions and the terms of the settlement agreement as they were. And ultimately, the court has decided that the terms are fair given the objections,” she said.