IPI hasn’t resumed work yet due to another issue with contractor


Work hasn’t resumed yet at the construction site of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s casino/hotel project in Garapan despite the Department of Public Works’ decision to lift its stop-work order last Wednesday because of another dispute, Saipan Tribune learned yesterday.

The owner of IPI’s consultant, DR Safety Consultant LLC, disclosed that a certain Mr. Su is calling the shots at IPI and that IPI management has no idea why he is making the decisions.

The DR Safety owner, who asked that his name be withheld, asked that, if Su has no deal with IPI, then why he is making the decision to get rid of DR Safety and install a new company in its place.

He said Su is giving IPI a bad name.

He said they will again stop the new company from working at IPI today, Monday.

When asked for comments, IPI chief executive officer Donald Browne said yesterday that the owner of DR Safety is just upset and that negotiation will eventually iron things out.

“He is a nice guy, but if he has a disagreement with IPI or other persons, he should seek legal assistance,” Browne said.

The CEO said Mr. Su is an advisor to the IPI board and an investor in another project on Saipan.

Browne did not give Su’s full name.

Browne admitted that he is not sure if they will resume work today, Monday, because of the dispute with DR.

It’s not clear whether he is the same Su Hongtao that, according to Rep. Cristina Sablan (D-Saipan), shared with her his plans to develop the former La Fiesta Mall and Plumeria Resort properties.

The DR Safety owner said although their contract with IPI was never terminated despite IPI’s non-payment, Su is trying to bring in another safety team to work at the Imperial Pacific Resort project.

He said because of IPI’s non-payment there was no plan for them to resume work and that DPW should re-issue the stop-work order against IPI.

He said the new safety team, which has no construction safety experience, however, was supposed to start work last Friday, but they stopped them.

“Mr. Su is trying to hire my old employees,” he said. “They [new company] are about to start [working]. They (IPI) tricked us to opening for them, then to find out that they are trying to hire new people to take over us and not pay us.”

He said since IPI has not been able to pay any of its contractors, Su stepped into the picture and has been making changes.

He said since Su stepped in, he forced the management to pay half of the previous invoices of old contractors.

He said IPI forced DR Safety to open the site on the promise of payment, but until now there’s no such payment.

The DR Safety owner said they have done so much work in the past three years for IPI with no Occupational Safety and Health Administration and DPW violations.

Last Wednesday, DPW told the Commonwealth Casino Commission that it has allowed IPI to resume construction work at tower hotel’s levels 3 to 13 of the Imperial Pacific Resort building after IPI complied with DPW’s Building Safety Code Division’s requirement.

IPI received the stop-work order from DPW last Oct. 27.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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