OAG proposes diversion program former OPA employee in theft case

The Office of the Attorney General has submitted to the Adult Diversion Program under the Office of Adult Probation for consideration the theft case filed against a former Office of the Public Auditor employee, Saipan Tribune learned.

Assistant attorney general Jonathan Glass Jr., counsel for the government, informed the Superior Court about the submission to the Adult Diversion Program of the case against Violita Diaz during a status conference last week.

OAG’s action prompted Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho to reset the status conference for Feb. 28 at 9am to see if Diaz qualifies for diversion.

Diversion means the OAG is not going for conviction. Rather, a defendant will pay a certain amount and perform community services, and other conditions if he or she qualifies.

If Diaz completes the diversion program, she will not have a criminal conviction.

Last Jan. 24, Diaz failed to show up at a status conference. Camacho ordered that a bench warrant with a $500 cash bail be issued if Diaz fails to appear at the next status conference on Jan. 31.

At the Jan. 31 status conference, Diaz appeared with her counsel, Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig.

The OAG filed last October an information that accused Diaz of stealing $900 from OPA.

Assistant attorney general Heather P. Barcinas stated in the information that Diaz took the money from OPA’s petty cash on Aug. 8, 2016. Diaz was at the time an employee of OPA.

No other details were provided in the information.

Saipan Tribune learned that Diaz used to work as an administrative assistant with OPA. She left OPA in 2016.

Diaz was not arrested as she was only summoned to appear in court.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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