The Commonwealth Casino Commission has terminated 22 of its employees, prompted by the continued closure of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s casino for over a year now and the indefinite suspension of IPI’s gaming license.
CCC executive director Andrew Yeom disclosed yesterday that due to budget constraints, they served 60-day termination letters/notices without cause for roughly 20 employees.
Yeom said they also have some staff who resigned because they found jobs themselves.
All in all, he said, this staff terminations and separations is a 60% workforce reduction for CCC.
Unfortunately for CCC employees, Yeom said, furloughing employees is not an option for them as an autonomous agency, as per Office of the Attorney General, thus they implemented the terminations.
“It is sad and unfortunate, but a decision had to be made to smartly and cost-effectively defend the Commonwealth against any present and future legal challenges,” he said.
Yeom said they have kept only the core employees to efficiently address their critical needs, with the mindset that their budget won’t be replenished for a long while.
At the same time, he said, they have talked and will continue to talk to various departments to see if the vast majority of the employees can he hired elsewhere.
“We really have recruited attractive candidates at CCC and I see that many will see smooth transitions within the government or private sector,” Yeom said.
Last April 22, the CCC board ordered the indefinite suspension of IPI’s gaming license and directed IPI to pay $6.6 million in total penalty within six months and pay immediately $15.5 million and $3.1 million in annual casino exclusive license fee and annual casino regulatory fee, respectively.
The casino has been closed since March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.