Ogumoro asks high court to restrain judge from presiding over his case


Former Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner Ambrosio T. Ogumoro has asked the CNMI Supreme Court to restrain Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman from presiding over his pending criminal case.

In a petition for writ of prohibition filed Tuesday, Ogumoro, through counsel Edward C. Arriola, argued that Wiseman’s decision not to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction is erroneous because there is neither a rational nor a substantial legal argument to deny the CNMI Supreme Court’s order.

Arriola said Wiseman’s decision to take the July 18, 2013 evidentiary hearing off calendar and declare the hearing “moot” because of the stipulation of the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Public Auditor violates the Supreme Court’s mandate.

Arriola said the Supreme Court ordered the Superior Court “to hold a hearing regarding the OAG’s disqualification.”

In addition, the lawyer said, the high court stayed or suspended the case against Ogumoro and other related criminal proceedings “pending the trial court’s resolution of the OAG disqualification issue.”

“However, the OAG’s disqualification issue was never actually resolved on the merits, on the record, as directed by the Supreme Court; instead, the issue was avoided and side-stepped,” Arriola said.

Ogumoro has a separate petition pending in the high court where he raises the question whether a judge must recuse from a trial after making a probable cause determination.

The petition prompted Associate Justice John A. Manglona to stop the Superior Court from proceeding in Ogumoro’s case until the petition is resolved.

OPA charged Ogumoro with 15 criminal offenses for his role in, among other things, shielding then-attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served with penal summons in August 2012.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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