DPW chief faces illegal OT suit
The Office of the Attorney General continues to go after CNMI government employees who allegedly received excessive amounts in overtime compensation following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yutu back in 2018. One of the OAG’s most recent targets is Department of Public Works Secretary James A. Ada.
Attorney General Edward Manibusan filed the lawsuit against Ada in the Superior Court yesterday, alleging illegal Typhoon Yutu related overtime compensation.
According to Manibusan, Ada received over $32,000 in typhoon premium pay that he should not have been entitled to.
As relief, Manibusan is asking the court to issue a judgment of $32,033.86 for recovery of the allegedly unlawful typhoon premium payments, overtime payments, or extra payments not authorized by law, without valid appropriation, and in excess of the salary ceiling.
Aside from returning the money, the AG also asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment declaring that the personnel regulations authorizing payment of typhoon emergency premium pay, overtime, and extra pay do not apply to gubernatorial appointees; that the director of Personnel and governor lack the authority to authorize additional compensation except as provided by law; and that compensation in excess of the salary ceiling cannot be authorized except as provided by law.
According to the lawsuit, Ada’s total compensation in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 exceeded his statutory salary of $54,000, which is against the law.
In total, Ada received typhoon premium pay in the total gross amount of $32,033.86 with $26,698.67 paid in fiscal year 2019 and $5,335.19 paid in fiscal year 2020.
According to the lawsuit, the defendant received typhoon emergency premium pay on multiple occasions and his typhoon emergency premium pay was paid at a rate of 2.5 times his base salary.
On Nov. 30, 2018, the defendant received gross wages in the amount of $5,870.65 as typhoon emergency premium pay.
The following month, on Dec. 22, 2018, Ada allegedly received gross wages in the amount of $4,215.58 as typhoon emergency premium pay
That same month, on Dec. 31, 2018, the defendant received gross wages in the amount of $5,533.15 as typhoon emergency premium pay.
On Jan. 8, 2019, the defendant again received gross wages in the amount of $5,679.19 as typhoon emergency premium pay.
On Jan. 18, 2019, Ada received gross wages in the amount of $5,400.10 as typhoon emergency premium pay,
Finally, on Nov. 1, 2019, the defendant received gross wages in the amount of $5,335.19 as typhoon emergency premium pay.