The Commonwealth Election Commission unanimously voted yesterday for the appointment of Julita A. Villagomez as CEC’s executive director.
At the CEC’s board meeting held at the Pedro Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe, CEC counsel assistant attorney general Michael Witry stated that the appointment of an executive director does not need approval from the governor.
Witry said the CEC board can appoint the executive director as long as there is enough budget for the position.
CEC board chair Frances M. Sablan moved for the appointment of Villagomez as executive director.
Commissioner Jesus I. Sablan (Saipan) seconded the motion.
Former lawmaker Ana Sablan Teregeyo expressed her support for the appointment of Villagomez, whom she described as a good friend and an effective CEC staff.
Teregeyo said she is very confident that Villagomez is going to be a good executive director.
The commissioners then voted unanimously for Villagomez as executive director.
Villagomez thanked the commissioners for their vote of confidence in her.
In an interview after the meeting, Villagomez said all she can say is that she is willing to help her co-workers do good job with the election coming up this November.
“We have to treat everybody equally,” said Villagomez who has been serving as acting executive director since 2014. She has been employed with CEC for 28 years now.
Villagomez first worked at CEC as an administrative assistant in 1988, then she became an administrative officer.
Chair Sablan said the appointment of Villagomez has long been awaited for.
Sablan said the board wanted to address that item in the agenda sooner but they were not sure on the legalities are especially in the absence of an assistant attorney general in their previous meeting.
Sablan said now having an AAG and his comments, they saw that they do have the authority to go ahead and appoint Villagomez.
“So this meeting serves as a public hearing. So we basically have our dots connected. We are very pleased, we are very happy that she is the executive director,” Sablan said.
The chair said Villagomez has been serving CEC even before she (Sablan) came on board more than 20 years ago.