Claudio K. Norita is expected to take on a new government role after he steps down as the first commissioner of the Department of Fire and Emergency Management Services tomorrow. He served as DFEMS head since being appointed by former governor Eloy S. Inos in 2015.
Norita was reappointed but Gov. Ralph DLG Torres had to withdraw the reappointment since the Senate Executive Appointments and Government Investigations didn’t have the time to conduct his nomination hearings.
“I already signed a letter to withdraw Clyde Norita. I will be withdrawing his nomination today (Thursday). I will have an [appointee on an] acting capacity starting [today]. And after that, I will be appointing somebody soon after,” said Torres, who added that the new DFEMS chief could be known in the next few weeks.
“But I met with Mr. Norita and…I will have him work in a different capacity. There is not enough time for the Senate to act on it.”
Torres said one of DFEMS personnel will serve in an acting capacity, but he did not name which of Norita’s deputies.
“The actual nomination will be coming, in about a week or two. I have not talked to anyone regarding the position until I formally made the withdrawal of Mr. Norita’s appointment. I asked him to help my administration one way or another,” said Torres.
Torres also withdrew the reappointment of Department of Corrections Commissioner Vincent Attao last month.
Norita is a former law enforcer who rose from the ranks to become a police major. He is also a former House member during the 14th CNMI Legislature, was appointed as Criminal Justice Planning Agency executive director, and DPS special assistant before being assigned to head the Commonwealth Ports Authority.