Minority bloc reports on findings about Torres’ expenditures

Posted on Jul 31 2020

The House of Representatives minority bloc presented yesterday the results of their review of government records, including receipts and reimbursement requests, as well as a statement from a government official, about the expenditures of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

At a meeting of the House Special Committee for Fiscal Review of Executive Expenditures, the minority bloc gave a glimpse of the report of their findings on the travels and expenses charged by the governor to the CNMI following months of review of the documents they received under their Open Government Act request last December.

They claim their review “points to a pattern of waste, abuse, and possible fraud” as well as “questionable” expenses.

The records include a federal search warrant, a receipt of property seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a grand jury subpoena, among others.

Despite the voluminous documents already received and reviewed, the lawmakers still have yet to receive other documents, and the special committee have voted to issue subpoenas to several government agencies. The list includes the mayor of the Northern Islands, the Marianas Visitors Authority, Commonwealth Casino Commission, CNMI Homeland Security & Management Agency, Department of Public Safety, and the Department of Lands and Natural Resources.

“…We [are] committed to ensuring this committee completes its investigation within the 60 days we have been given as members of the special committee,” said minority member Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan). “We must not tolerate any attempts by the administration to try a new route or distract from the work ahead of us, along with any witnesses we may subpoena to testify.”

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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