Inmate sues DOC, commissioner, others


Former Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board chair Francisco Q. Guerrero, who has been serving a six-year prison term for sexual abuse of a minor, is suing the Department of Corrections, its commissioner, and several other corrections officers over the injuries he allegedly suffered when he got into an accident last year over DOC’s failure to provide him the prescribed eye drops and eyeglasses.

In a complaint he filed without a lawyer, Guerrero named the DOC, Corrections Commissioner Vince Attao, then-DOC commissioner Georgia M. Cabrera, and sever other DOC officers as defendants.

Guerrero alleged that the delays in his eye treatment and failure to provide him with prescribed eye drops on two occasions, and delay in providing prescribed eyeglasses caused him pain and suffering and his cracked right rib.

Guerrero said Attao ignored his pleas for help, in writing, last May 15 and Sept. 21.

He said his wife also called Attao and his office, asking for help.

He said Cabrera denied him dental treatment despite a recommendation of a Dental Care dentist to replace his teeth.

Guerrero said Cabrera told a DOC nurse and a medical officer that DOC will not replace his dentures because DOC only provides teeth extraction.

He, however, noted that on Aug. 4, 2016, Cabrera appeared before the Senate Committee Fiscal Affairs during a budget hearing in which she stated that the governor has allocated $2 million for the inmates’ health care.

Guerrero said the DOC medical officers failed to give him the prescribed eye drops after a cataract surgery on his left eye in October 2017.

He said that in March 2018, he was examined by a Marianas Eye Institute doctor, but the DOC medical officers again failed to give him the prescribed eye drops.

In July 2018, Guerrero said he was prescribed new eyeglasses, but the officers took a long time to pick it up at the Marianas Eye Institute. On last July 16, he got into an accident and his right lower rib was injured since he was seeing double while using his old eyeglasses, he said.

It was only last November when he was prescribed eyeglasses, he said.

Guerrero said after the July 16 accident, he requested an X-ray of his right lower rib. He said he was denied that; the DOC’s reason was that there is no bone doctor.

Guerrero said that last Nov. 16, he was brought to Dental Care because he was suffering pain and continuous bleeding due to his six teeth extraction.

He said the dentist gave him pain medicine and antibiotics, but the escort officers took them away from him.

Guerrero was convicted of 11 charges relating to sexual abuse of a minor. He started serving the six-year prison term on Dec. 1, 2013.

More than 10 inmates have already filed separate lawsuits in federal court against DOC and its current and former officials and officers for various reasons.

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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