Manibusan: DOC officials being sued were acting within scope of their jobs


Attorney General Edward Manibusan has certified that Corrections Commissioner Wally Villagomez and a former DOC chief were acting within the scope of their employment at the time when the alleged incidents occurred as claimed by an inmate who is suing them again for allegedly subjecting him to unlawful treatment.

Manibusan also certified that Corrections director Gregory Castro and DOC official Georgia Cabrera were acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the incidents as alleged by inmate Price Shoiter in the lawsuit.

He notified the U.S. District Court for the NMI that the Commonwealth shall be substituted for Villagomez, Attao, Castro, and Cabrera as the defendants in the four causes of action in Shoiter’s lawsuit.

Manibusan informed the court about his certification Monday.

Castro is being furloughed. Cabrera is currently the director of Corrections.

Shoiter, one of the 14 inmates who settled their lawsuit against DOC officials in 2018, is suing Villagomez, Attao, Castro, and Cabrera again in federal court for alleged broken promises and subjecting him to unlawful treatment.

Shoiter, through counsel Michael W. Dotts, is suing the defendants in their personal capacities.

Shoiter is suing Attao, Villagomez, Castro, and Cabrera for violation of Civil Rights under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. and the CNMI constitutions, violation of the Northern Mariana Islands Administrative Code, gross negligence, and emotional distress.

Shoiter is demanding unspecified damages.

The inmate wants the court to declare that Attao’s, Castro, Cabrera, and Villagomez’s policies, practices, acts are unlawful and violate his rights under the Constitution and laws of the U.S. and the CNMI.

He wants the court to stop Attao, Castro, Cabrera, and Villagomez and their subordinates from subjecting him to unlawful and unconstitutional treatment. He also demanded an award of attorney’s fees and litigation costs. (Ferdie de la Torre)

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
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