The CNMI government reached yesterday a partial settlement with the group Friends of Marpi in connection with the latter’s lawsuit over the installation of power poles in Marpi.
In a joint statement, Friends of Marpi counsel David G. Banes and government lawyer Charles Brasington stated that both sides agreed that the settlement was in the best interests of the Commonwealth.
Banes and Brasington said that under the settlement deal, the government will take down the controversial power poles in the Marpi area from the Buddhist temple to the Veterans Cemetery along Chalan Pale Arnold Road.
Once completed, the lawyers said, Friends of Marpi will drop the portion of their lawsuit related to the disputed power poles.
The 43 power poles are part of a $2.9-million project to supply power to the Marpi public cemetery and the CNMI Veterans Cemetery.
With only two more power poles reportedly needed to be installed to complete the project, Friends of Marpi led by Tina Sablan filed the lawsuit in early 2011.
In May 2011, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo issued orders that granted Friends of Marpi’s preliminary injunction that suspended the power poles project for 90 days.
The CNMI government then appealed Govendo’s order to the CNMI Supreme Court.