Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig’s girlfriend, Evelyn Atalig, pleaded not guilty yesterday in federal court to a superseding indictment that charged them with making CNMI government-funded trips to California, Palau, Guam, and Saipan using false pretenses.
At an initial appearance/arraignment hearing, Evelyn Atalig, through her court-appointed counsel, Steven P. Pixley, pleaded not guilty to four charges: conspiracy, wire fraud, theft from program receiving federal funds, and one count of false statements.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona set Evelyn Atalig’s jury trial on Jan. 15, 2019.
That is the same schedule of the jury trial of Mayor Efraim M. Atalig.
Manglona said that, based on the report of the U.S. Probation Office, Evelyn Atalig is eligible for a court-appointed counsel.
Manglona allowed Evelyn Atalig to remain free pending her trial.
Some of the conditions that she has to comply with include no contact with witnesses, not to leave the CNMI without the court’s permission, and return to court hearings, among others.
Evelyn Atalig was not required to surrender her passport though.
Assistant U.S. attorney Eric O’Malley agreed that Evelyn Atalig does not pose a flight risk.
Pixley declined to comment to the media about the case.
Mayor Efraim Atalig was arraigned last Thursday. He pleaded not guilty to the same four charges.