CUC: Hiring efforts for 3 management positions doing well

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. executive director Gary P. Camacho said they have been doing well in trying to fill the vacancies in critical management positions.

Camacho, in an interview, said they have announced the vacancies and sent the listing of applicants for the three positions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He disclosed that they got a good number of applicants for the chief of engineer position that was left vacant when Song Kim resigned for personal matters.

“We’re very supportive of him, a great guy. It’s wonderful working with him and we wish him the best forward,” said Camacho, referring to Kim, who resigned last October reportedly for family/medical reasons.

With respect to the position of chief financial officer, Camacho said they also got a number of applicants and that they initiated interviews.

CUC reportedly did not renew Antonio Castro’s contract as chief financial officer.

Camacho said for the position of water and wastewater manager, they have also an applicant from off-island.

Former water and wastewater manager Gary Byrd resigned last Nov. 30 reportedly to accept an off-island job.

According to U.S. Department of Justice Enforcement Section senior attorney Bradley R. O’Brien, CUC historically sustained lengthy vacancies in management positions thereby impending CUC’s operations and compliance with the federal court’s two stipulated orders.

In the U.S. government’s January 2019 status report about CUC stipulated order projects, O’Brien said since the August 2018 status conference, three “Stipulated Order 1 position” employees left CUC employment and these positions remain unfilled.

O’Brien said it is critical that these positions—chief engineer, chief financial officer, and water and wastewater manager—be timely filled by persons who meet the Stipulated Order 1 qualifications.

SO 1 refers to federal court-mandated projects that focus on drinking water and wastewater and the restructuring of CUC’s organization.

SO 2 focuses on oil issues and also applies to oil spills and the remediation of the contaminated power plants.

Former CUC legal counsel James S. Sirok recently stated that CUC is actively advertising to fill the vacancies of the three positions.

U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge David O. Carter started last Monday a week-long status conference about various CUC projects.

Carter had informed the parties that he would like to learn on the status of the various activities and requirements relevant to SO1 and SO2.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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