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Friday, April 18, 2014

BREAKING NEWS
Govendo imposes no jail term for Buckingham

Former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham was sentenced this afternoon, Wednesday, to 3.5 years in prison, all suspended, for his conviction on corruption charges.

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo ordered the 65-year-old Buckingham to pay a $14,000 fine and placed him on unsupervised probation.

Govendo prohibited the former AG from employment with the CNMI government for 20 years.

Office of the Public Auditor legal counsel George Hasselback recommended a sentence of one year in prison, without possibility of parole, and fine.

Before he was sentenced, Buckingham made a brief statement to the court, in which he apologized for his conduct.

Govendo found Buckingham guilty of use of public supplies, time and personnel for campaign activities; use of the name of a government department or agency to campaign and/or express support for a candidate running for public office; misconduct in public office (related to campaign matter); conspiracy to commit theft of services (related to escort issue); misconduct in public office (pertaining to escort issue); conspiracy to commit theft service (related to use government counsels to represent him); and misconduct in public office (use of government counsels).

Govendo acquitted Buckingham on one count of failure to produce documents or information (pertaining to Office of the Public Auditor’s request).

The bench trial began last Feb. 10.

OPA originally filed 12 criminal charges against Buckingham in connection with an alleged violation of election laws and illegal award of a sole-source contract, among others.

Govendo earlier dismissed four charges, including those pertaining to the contract issue.

More details to follow.

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