Department of Public Lands Secretary Sixto K. Igisomar said yesterday that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents served him with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury, while Rep. Ralph N. Yumul (R-Saipan) also disclosed that an FBI agent came to his office and questioned him basically about his role in the introduction and passage of Saipan’s casino law.
In response to Saipan Tribune’s inquiries, Igisomar in an email said FBI agents went to his office at DPL last Tuesday, Aug. 16, and served him with a subpoena.
Igisomar said the subpoena commanded him to appear before a federal grand jury and testify.
“I do not know what they are looking for. They mainly asked my official government positions that I have held today and in the past,” the DPL secretary said.
He said he can’t share nor say more than he should at this time.
“Your understanding is greatly appreciated,” Igisomar said.
Igisomar used to serve as secretary of the Department of Commerce. As Commerce secretary, he served as chairman of the Commonwealth Lottery Commission.
CLC granted an exclusive license casino to Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC in 2014.
Before his appointment as DPL secretary, Igisomar served as Saipan senator in the 19th and 20th Legislature.
In response to Saipan Tribune’s separate inquiries, Yumul said yesterday that an FBI agent and an Office of the Public Auditor staff visited his office Tuesday, last week.
Yumul said majority of the questions were related to Public Law 18-56 and his role with its introduction and passage as a member of the 18th Legislature.
The 18th Legislature passed a bill that legalized casino gaming on Saipan. Then-governor Eloy S. Inos signed the bill into Public Law 18-56 in March 2014.
Yumul said he told the FBI agent and OPA staff that he did not support the casino bill.
He said it was all basic questions and nothing technical.
Yumul said he was also asked as to who went to Macau or Singapore trips related to the casino, and that he told them he did not joint such trips.
Yumul said there was no subpoena served on him to testify before a federal grand jury.
“Just questions about on how casino came about. I told them I didn’t support the casino bill,” he said.
Yumul said during the 18TH Legislature, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres was the Senate president.
He said he believes he was asked questions because he, House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), and Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan) are three remaining current House members who served during the 18th Legislature.
Villagomez said yesterday that he did not receive a subpoena to testify.
As of press time, Rep. Sablan has yet to reply to Saipan Tribune’s inquiries.