Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman dismissed today, Thursday, the criminal charges against former governor Benigno R. Fitial.
Wiseman ruled that the Office of the Public Auditor that brought the charges lacks the authority to initiate criminal action against Fitial, who is now a private citizen, and that the attorney general retains prosecutorial authority over such an action when the defendant is not currently in office.
Wiseman dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning the case can be re-filed in the future.
The judge said should the AG find it necessary to file criminal charges against the former governor upon reasonable belief he has committed a crime while in office, it is free to do so, as it retained exclusive prosecutorial power once Fitial resigned from office.
More details to follow.