6 other members of Ethics Committee appointed
Rep. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota) has been appointed to chair the Special Standing Committee on Official Conduct and Ethics that will look into the ethics complaint filed against Rep. Edwin K. Propst (D-Saipan).
In a memorandum Friday, House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) appointed six other committee members: Reps. Sheila J. Babauta (D-Saipan), Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan), Joseph Lee Pan T. Guerrero (R-Saipan), Corina L Magofna (D-Saipan), Patrick H. San Nicolas (R-Tinian), and Leila C. Staffler (D-Saipan).
Villagomez said that, according to the official House rules, the committee “shall consist of seven members appointed by the speaker in consultation with the leadership.” He said “each member shall make an affirmation, under oath, that he will perform his duties…and…will not disclose confidential information acquired by him as a result of his participation in the work of the committee.”
Grace “Pitu” Sablan Vaiagae, who is a counselor and an advocate for the rights of abused women, filed the ethics complaint against Propst last Nov. 9 over allegations that he had sex with several underaged women approximately 20 years ago when he was still a teacher at Marianas High School and an employee at the Northern Marianas College. Propst has denied the allegations.
Propst earlier described the complaint as a “distraction” instigated by the NMI Republican Party and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to take the public’s attention away from the House Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee’s investigation into the governor’s expenditures of public funds and travels. Propst is a member of that committee.