IPI found in contempt anew in sex harassment case


The U.S. District Court for the NMI has found Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC in contempt again in another sexual harassment case filed by a former Best Sunshine Casino dealer.

Following a show-cause hearing last week, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona found IPI in contempt in the sexual harassment suit filed by a former IPI dealer for the company’s failure to make payments toward a $60,000 settlement agreement.

Manglona continued the show-cause hearing for today, Oct. 14, where sanctions will be imposed in order for IPI to purge itself of contempt.

In the motion for a show-cause hearing filed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, William Fitzgerald, the plaintiff wants the court to order IPI to immediately make payments toward the balance due in addition to attorney’s fees and costs.

Should IPI claim it does not have funding, Fitzgerald said the court should mandate IPI sell assets to satisfy the judgment.

Fitzgerald said his client is also asking the court to impose a $2,000 fine for each day IPI fails to make payment, and further sanctions if IPI continues to fail in its obligations.

“IPI has failed to comply with this court’s judgment and has failed to make a required $30,000 payment, but has bounced a check made out to the Law Office of William M. Fitzgerald Trust Account. To date, IPI has not made payment and has not requested for an extension of time,” Fitzgerald said.

According to court documents, the victim in the case originally filed the civil action against Stephen Brown, the plaintiff’s former pit supervisor, and IPI back in October 2019.

In March 2021, Brown was dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the parties’ agreement.

Shortly thereafter, the remaining parties agreed to an entry of judgment and entered into a settlement agreement for the amount of $60,000.

The court retained jurisdiction to enforce the judgment and terms of settlement.

In September 2017, the plaintiff filed a complaint against Brown with IPI’s Human Resource Department, asking them to investigate and tell her whether her supervisor’s hostile actions toward her were caused by mistakes she made in her work, or if they were reprisals for her refusal to agree to Brown’s sexual requests.

After filing her complaint, the plaintiff claims she was never contacted by IPI’s Human Resource Department, resulting in further sexual advances by her pit supervisor.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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