Ex-DPS deputy chief acquitted of 4 charges
Ambrosio T. Ogumoro was found guilty yesterday of two corruption charges but was acquitted of four other charges.
After less than five hours, six Superior Court jurors unanimously found Ogumoro guilty of theft by deception but not guilty of theft by unlawful taking.
Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo, who decided on the misdemeanor charges, found Ogumoro guilty of misconduct in public office, not guilty of two counts of removal of government property, and not guilty of one count of misconduct in public office.
Ogumoro, a former Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner, appeared calm standing next to his counsel, Mark B. Hanson, as a court staff read the jurors’ verdict.
Others in the courtroom were Ogumoro’s common-law wife, former police officer Katherine Manglona, family members and friends.
Ogumoro will be sentenced on Sept. 12, 2017 at 1:30pm.
The two charges that Ogumoro was found guilty of carry a total maximum prison sentence of six years, according to assistant attorney general Matthew Baisley. Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas assisted Baisley at the trial.
“We are pleased with this result,” Baisley told reporters.
Baisley said that Attorney General Edward Manibusan has prioritized investigating and prosecuting crimes involving corruption and misconduct in public office.
“Securing these kinds of convictions sends a message that our office takes these cases seriously, and that the people of the Commonwealth do as well,” he said.
The prosecutor said that cases might not always progress as fast as some people might like. In this case for example, he noted that Ogumoro was charged two years ago, and that they were on the eve of trial one year ago, it had to be continued due to the unavailability of a key witness, and then-Superior Court associate Judge David A. Wiseman retired so it was continued again.
“But these cases are a priority, and the Attorney General’s Office is constantly working on investigating them and preparing them for trial,” Baisley said.
Baisley and Barcinas said the jurors sat attentively through a weeklong trial that focused extensively on receipts and invoices—“not the most exciting stuff in the world.”
Baisley and Barcinas said the investigators, from both DPS and at the Office of the Public Auditor, “put together an excellent case.”
Ogumoro and his counsel, Hanson, refused to comment.
The prosecution called to the stand a total of nine witnesses. The defense called three witnesses.
The trial of Ogumoro and his co-defendant, Herman M. Manglona, started last April 24.
A second amended information charged Ogumoro with eight counts relating to theft by deception, misconduct in public office, conspiracy to commit theft by deception, removal of government property, and theft by unlawful taking.
The second amended information also charged Manglona with conspiracy to commit theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
Last April 27, Govendo dismissed the charges against Manglona.
According to the allegations, Ogumoro brought a 1995 Toyota Tercel that belonged to DPS to a shop to be repaired using DPS funds totaling $2,500 in 2012 and then sold the vehicle as “scrap” for only $50 to Manglona.
Manglona is the brother of Ogumoro’s common-law wife, Katherine Manglona. Katherine Manglona was originally included as a co-defendant in the case, but in November 2015 the OAG dropped the case against her.
The prosecution said Ogumoro instructed a DPS staff to bring a DPS desktop to a shop for repairs using DPS funding in the amount of $276. The computer along with a laptop, printer, and other DPS property were later used in the office of True North Bar & Grill, which is owned by Ogumoro.
In January 2016, a Superior Court jury found Ogumoro guilty of conspiracy to commit theft of services, and theft of services pertaining to the same incident of shielding then-attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served with penal summons in August 2012.
Wiseman also found Ogumoro guilty of five counts of misconduct in public office, one count of obstructing justice: Interference with a law enforcement officer or witness, and one count of criminal coercion.
On March 30, 2016, Wiseman slapped Ogumoro with a one-year prison sentence. The defendant started serving the prison term on April 13, 2016.
In June 2016, the Department of Corrections, however, granted Ogumoro’s request to avail of DOC’s work-release program.