Gov. Eloy S. Inos nominated yesterday his legal counsel, Teresa Kim-Tenorio, to serve as CNMI Superior Court associate judge, filling a vacancy since March. The appointment also comes some four months since the governor withdrew a previous nominee embroiled in controversies.
Kim-Tenorio would be the only woman in the CNMI Judiciary if confirmed by the Senate. She thanked the governor and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider for the nomination.
“I am humbled and honored,” she told Saipan Tribune. “The nomination is the first of a few steps to actually becoming an associate judge. I will prepare to ensure our senators that their decision, should they choose to confirm my nomination, will be the right one; that they are confident in my ability to judge fairly and impartially.”
The governor appointed yesterday a total of four women to leadership posts, in a nod to the emerging role of women in today’s society.
These include former Workforce Investment Agency executive director Edith Deleon Guerrero to serve as the new Labor secretary.
Inos also named Dr. Elizabeth D. Rechebei to the Northern Marianas College Board of Regents, and Shirley T. Sablan to the Commonwealth Development Authority board of directors.
All four appointments require the Senate’s advice and consent.
The governor hopes that these “qualified women will help bring a different voice to the organizations they have been nominated to.”
“I am pleased to submit this group of qualified women who are ready and eager to help our community. After a thorough vetting process, I believe that this is it, these individuals have so much to offer for the common good of our islands,” Inos said in a statement.
The governor also hopes the Senate will act swiftly and favorably on his latest nominations.
“With so many issues on the table today, it is important to ensure that all sectors of our society are represented within our government. That’s why I believe it’s important to strike a balance and learn from the ideas of emerging women who can and will make a difference,” he added.
Sen. Frank Cruz (R-Tinian), chairman of the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations, said the nominations have yet to be referred to his committee as of yesterday afternoon.
The EAGI committee reviews the governor’s nominations and come up with recommendation for confirmation or rejection to the full Senate.
Kim-Tenorio has been serving as legal counsel for Inos starting when the latter was still lieutenant governor and even after he became governor in February.
If confirmed by the Senate, Kim-Tenorio will fill the void in the Superior Court left behind by then associate judge Perry B. Inos, now serving as associate justice for the CNMI Supreme Court.
Kim-Tenorio’s nomination comes some six months since the governor withdrew on June 9 the nomination of attorney Ramon “Ray” King Quichocho to the same post.
That ended a monthlong controversy on Quichocho’s background and peer evaluation results.
Kim-Tenorio, a juris doctorate graduate of New England School of Law in Boston, received her certification under the CNMI Bar in May 2004 and the Michigan Bar in 2002. She is also currently a trustee for the Judicial Historical Society.
In addition to her work in the Executive Branch, Kim-Tenorio had previously worked as an attorney for the Law Office of G. Anthony Long, and as legal counsel to the CNMI House of Representatives.
During her time as legal counsel to the lieutenant governor, Kim-Tenorio also served as a hearing officer for administrative cases brought before the CNMI Department of Labor.
Kim-Tenorio is married to Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Perry Tenorio.
Labor, NMC, CDA
The governor appointed Edith Deleon Guerrero to serve as the new Labor secretary, following the resignation of Gil San Nicolas.
Effective Oct. 1, the Workforce Investment Agency was placed under the CNMI Department of Labor. Deleon Guerrero had been WIA executive director since 2006. As part of the reorganizational efforts, San Nicolas will be taking on a different position within Labor.
Shirley T. Sablan, meanwhile, will be representing Saipan on the CDA board. She is currently the executive vice president and general manager of Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Inc.
In addition to her vast business experience, Sablan holds a masters of Business Administration and bachelor’s in Business Administration from Chaminade University.
Dr. Elizabeth D. Rechebei, a highly respected educator and civic leader, was nominated to fill the vacancy on the NMC board as result of the expiration of the term of former regent Andrew Orsini.
Rechebei is a former commissioner of education and a former member of the NMC Board of Regents back when it was merged with the Board of Education. She has also served on numerous boards and commissions under different administrations. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego and a master’s in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.