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OAG files amended complaint vs Atalig

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The Office of the Attorney General has filed a fourth amended information in Superior Court against Rota Mayor
Efraim Atalig.

OAG has amended count one in its suit against Atalig to allege a different theory of official misconduct based on improper approval of per diem for days not spent on official business.

Misconduct in public office is punishable by imprisonment for a period of not more than one year or a fine of not more than $1,000.

According to the fourth amended information, Atalig committed misconduct in public office from about June 1, 2018, to Nov, 27, 2018.

“[Atalig], being a public official and acting under the color of his public office, committed an illegal act by violating when defendant willfully and knowingly improperly approved travel and/or travel costs for nongovernmental employees or governmental employees who were not traveling for government purposes” the amendment stated.

Originally, the OAG charged Atalig and seven of his current and former resident directors with misconduct in public office in connection with their attendance at a Republican Party campaign rally in Guam.

Atalig is the only remaining defendant in the Superior Court case.

Atalig’s co-defendants have already disposed the cases against them through a plea agreement or by participating in an adult diversion program.

Back in August, in his case with the U.S. District Court for the NMI, jurors unanimously found Atalig and his common-law wife, Evelyn, innocent on all counts.

The Ataligs were acquitted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and two counts of false statement.

The Ataligs were being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and false statement.

The prosecution alleged that the Ataligs went to a lot of CNMI-funded trips in 2018 with the primary, if not only, purpose being personal and not official.

The prosecution cited eight trips taken by the Ataligs at different times in 2018 to Guam, Palau, the U.S. mainland, South Korea, and Saipan.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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