New Corrections commissioner confirmed, sworn in


The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Wally Villagomez as the new commissioner of the Department of Corrections.


Voting 7-0, the Senate confirmed Villagomez’s nomination last Friday morning during a session on Capital Hill.

The nomination, according to Senate Executive Appointments and Government Investigation Committee chair Sen. Francisco Cruz (R-Tinian), drew no comments opposing the nomination.

Although Villagomez had been with the Corrections Department for only two and a half months, he has over 19 years of experience in the Department of Public Safety Tinian.

When asked later about his priorities at the department, Villagomez said: “[I want to prioritize] trainings for the staff and getting the CNMI Department of Corrections to the level of correctional institutions in the U.S. mainland.”

“I would also be going out and checking for federal grants to improve the department,” he added.

Saipan Tribune previously reported on some of the issues relating to the living environment of inmates at the prison in Susupe. When asked, Villagomez noted that these are also on his to-do list.

“I am looking actually into all of the issues of the department right now, and I have been working on them day by day,” he told Saipan Tribune.

According to Villagomez, he used to lead the Correction Department in an acting capacity.

Later in the afternoon, Saipan Tribune learned that the Office of the Governor swore Villagomez into office.

“I just want to thank the governor and the lieutenant governor, my family, and staff and management of the Department of Corrections for their support, along with the Tinian senators, Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan, and the Tinian Legislative Delegation,” he said when asked.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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