IPI now has casino reopening plan


Before Donald R. Browne resigned as interim chief executive officer of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, he provided IPI with a reopening plan of its casino in western Garapan.

Browne informed IPI director Zheng Dong Ting last Dec. 3 that he submitted the reopening plan and other transition information to IPI senior vice president of Public Affairs Tao Xing.

Browne told Zheng in his Dec. 3 resignation letter that his last day as interim CEO was Dec. 17, 2020.

He, however, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the IPI board asked him to extend his resignation notice period longer than 14 days to assist with specific matters.

In his letter, Browne said he must resign to attend to family matters. He thanked Zheng and the IPI board of director for having the confidence in him to assist the company “in a time of great need.”

“I thank the wonderful IPI team members for their unwavering commitment to the long-term objective of the company,” he said, adding that, without the team members’ strength and determination, they could not have accomplished “so many great things in the past six years.”

“You are truly the greatest team I have had the pleasure to work with in my 40 years in the casino and hospitality industry,” he said.

Browne urged IPI’s team members not to let the challenges of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the other issues surrounding IPI “derail their commitment and perseverance.”

Browne was IPI’s interim CEO for almost six months. He used to serve as IPI’s senior vice president for Security and Surveillance. IPI appointed him CEO effective July 17, 2020. He informed the federal court recently that he is no longer the CEO since Dec. 17, 2020.

IPI’s former general counsel, Michael Dotts, said over the weekend that even although Browne has resigned, he still has to appear in federal court tomorrow, Thursday.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has ordered Browne and IPI’s chair Cui Li Jie to appear before the court at 8:30am in connection with the U.S. Department of Labor’s lawsuit against IPI.

Dotts said Browne could be held in contempt, but the general rule is that a person cannot be held in contempt for violating a court order that they had no notice of.

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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