Ex-chief prosecutor Bradley is back as House legal counsel
Former CNMI chief prosecutor John Bradley is back on the island and started working since Monday last week as legal counsel for the House of Representatives.
Bradley went back to Texas in July 2021 after the expiration of his contract with the CNMI Office of the Attorney General and because his parents were elderly. His father has since passed away a month ago.
“After we settled all of that, my wife and I wanted to come back to Saipan because we love it so much,” he said Monday.
When asked why he chose to serve as House counsel instead of going back to the OAG, Bradley said he used to worked for the Texas Legislature when he was younger. “And I remember enjoying working with legislators and writing bills and advising. So I decided to come back and do that instead of being a prosecutor,” he said.
Bradley said he is delighted to be back on the island. “I went diving yesterday (Sunday) for the first time since I got back because the weather finally opened up. And I got to see an octopus and play with it for about 10 minutes. I saw turtles and a stingray and I’m glad to be back,” he said.
Bradley’s co-counsel in the House is Joseph Taijeron.
With the CNMI Supreme Court’s interim rule that eased some Rules of Admission, he can come back and continue working for an additional four years. “So that rule change benefitted me and I’m glad that I can work with the House because of it,” Bradley said.
He is referring to the CNMI Supreme Court’s proposed Rule 73-2 of Title 9, Rules of Admission, that seeks to increase from four years to a maximum of eight years the time allowed for recruited government lawyers to practice in the Commonwealth without requiring them to pass the NMI Bar examination.
The Senate approved the proposed rule. The House Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee did not act on it.
JGO chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) said yesterday that the Senate had approved the interim rule so there was no need for the JGO to recommend its adoption to the full House.
Babauta said only one house of the Legislature is required to act on it in order to accept or defeat any proposed rule of the Judiciary.
Weeks leaving Saipan for Texas in 2021, Bradley told the House Ways and Means Committee that in order for the CNMI to get off-island lawyers to commit to staying longer on the islands, the Legislature has to consider creating an exemption—for those who want to stay and work for the government—to the rule that requires them to take the NMI Bar examination after serving the government for four years.
Bradley had worked with the OAG in Palau for two and a half years. Before that, he was a prosecutor and an elected district attorney in Texas.
He started serving as CNMI chief prosecutor in July 2019.