Nothing personal in Rasa probe: Senator

Posted on Mar 05 1999

In a sign of growing animosity, Sen. David M. Cing yesterday slammed embattled casino gaming commission consultant Oscar C. Rasa for recent statements attacking the senator’s intention to reopen an oversight investigation into his controversial employment contract.

In a press statement, Cing urged the former House speaker to stick to his initial position that he welcomed the investigation and that he has nothing to hide from his consultant job at the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission.

The Tinian senator, who heads the Senate committee on Executive Appointments and Governmental Investigations, also assured Rasa “not to be afraid” because the inquiry the panel will undertake is for the interest of the CNMI people.

“I am not going to ask him about his lovelife or his personal affair because that is not my business,” Cing said, adding the line of questioning by the EAGI will relate to his current position as consultant to TCGCC.

“Let him answer those questions and submit documents and let the committee do their job to determine if the former Speaker worked hard enough to earn $700,000 plus from the taxpayers’ (money),” he urged.

Cing has announced plan to resume the oversight on the gaming commission to shed new light on alleged misuse of public funds following the tiff between Tinian Mayor Francisco C. Borja and Rasa over the latter’s contract.

The mayor has pressed for Rasa’s ouster on grounds that his employment was improper. As consultant to the commission, he receives $100,000 in annual salary, plus perks and other benefits, for the next four years.

In recent interviews, Rasa has maintained he would appear before any inquiry “but I will not subject myself to a kangaroo hearing or Senator Cing’s political agenda,” citing the oversight is tainted with political agenda similar to previous EAGI hearings held during election year.

But Cing lashed back at the criticism, saying Rasa was not even here in the election in 1995 and the oversight in 1997 was conducted prior to and after the general elections.

He noted that even Rep. Heinz Hofschneider has decided to hold oversight hearings on the Northern Marianas College when the midterm elections in November is just eight months away.

“So please Mr. Rasa, don’t talk to me about election and don’t blame me for not trusting you because you have betrayed our trust once, how can we believe you that you will not betray us again,” Cing asked.

On Rasa’s statement questioning his accomplishment as senator, he said: “I want to know if Mr. Rasa just got the $700,000 plus consultant contract under the gaming commission without knowing who fought for the establishment of the casino here on Tinian?”

Cing added, “that is pretty strange for an intellectual person like Mr. Rasa, at least he should have some decency to appreciate and say thank you to the people of Tinian.”

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