Former Labor chief says she can’t afford a lawyer


Former Labor Secretary Edith Eleanor DeLeon Guerrero is claiming penury, saying she can’t afford a lawyer to represent her in a traffic case charging her with misuse of a government vehicle.

At the scheduled hearing yesterday, DeLeon Guerrero informed Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho that she is jobless and can’t afford a lawyer. She appeared without a counsel and said she is still looking for a job.

The former Labor secretary also stated she has no source of income.

Camacho found DeLeon Guerrero eligible for a court-appointed counsel and tapped the Office of the Public Defender as her lawyer.

Assistant public defender Cindy Nesbit appeared as counsel for DeLeon Guerrero. Assistant attorney general Jonathan Glass Jr. appeared as counsel for the government.

Camacho continued the motion hearing on Oct. 5, 2017, at 1:30pm.

Yesterday was supposed to be a hearing on the Office of the Attorney General’s motion to clarify Camacho’s previous interpretation of a “vehicle owned” or “leased.”

The bench trial of Deleon Guerrero was supposed to start last June 7, but Camacho vacated it because of the OAG’s motion for clarification.

Last Oct. 1, 2016, DeLeon Guerrero, at the time the Labor secretary, was cited for violation of restriction upon use of government vehicles such as driving a government vehicle that does not bear a government license plate, driving an unmarked government vehicle, and operating a government vehicle with tints on its windows.

DeLeon Guerrero pleaded not guilty.

In an earlier interview, Deleon Guerrero said she pleaded not guilty to the charges as it was a rent-a-car vehicle and obviously not government property.

Each of three charges is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or three days of imprisonment, according to the law.

According to court documents, police officer Jesus Santos issued the traffic citation against Deleon Guerrero on Oct. 16, 2016, at 3:39pm in the parking lot of the Happiness Chinese Restaurant in western Garapan.

Deleon Guerrero was the driver of a red five-door Toyota car with license plate ACU-788. The car is registered to Marfega Trading Co. Inc. (Ferdie De La Torre)

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

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