Larson request to pay off Yutu premium pay OK’d
The Superior Court has granted the stipulated request made by former Finance secretary Larissa Larson and CNMI Attorney General Edward Manibusan for a final judgment ordering the latter to repay the over $20,000 she received in typhoon premium pay in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018.
Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja has granted the stipulated—or agreed upon—request submitted by Larson and Manibusan seeking final judgment in the illegal overtime suit Manibusan filed against her and other similarly situated back in 2022.
The stipulated request is pursuant to Larson’s previous response where she admitted that she was not entitled to the $36,775.43 in Yutu overtime compensation which she received back in 2019.
According to Naraja’s final judgment order, Larson must pay $27,574.85 as recovery of the unlawful typhoon premium pay she received.
“The plaintiff is entitled to repayment by defendant to the Commonwealth Treasury on a judgment in the amount of $27,574.85 to fully satisfy the Commonwealth’s recovery of unlawful typhoon premium payments,” said Naraja.
The judge ordered Larson to make monthly payments of $250 toward the final judgments starting this month.
Last month, Larson conceded in her response to the AG’s lawsuit that she was not entitled to the typhoon premium pay of over $36,000 that she was paid back in January 2019 and had proposed that the Superior Court issue a judgment for her repayment.
Larson, through attorney Robert Torres, said she does not contest that she was not entitled to the typhoon premium pay.
In addition, Torres said his client does not contest nor oppose an entry of judgment against her for the sum of $36,775 with credit for her surrendering her accrued annual leave in the amount of $9,200.58 which she claims she waived back in March 2019, following her resignation as Finance secretary.
“The net amount of plaintiff Manibusan’s claim against Ms. Larson, to which she submits and agrees to reduce judgment, is $27,578.85,” he said.
According to the AG’s lawsuit against Larson and those similarly situated, he claims that the CNMI was harmed because of the authorized overtime pay received by Larson.
The OAG further argues that Larson was not entitled to overtime and so should be directed to return all the money she was paid in overtime.
According to the lawsuit, Larson’s total compensation in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 exceeded her statutory salary of $70,000, which is against the law.