To Mario F. Valentino, chairman, NMTI board of trustees:
Mr. Chair, this letter is regarding the May 13, 2021, article in the Marianas Variety and in the Saipan Tribune, which deals with your concern about the finances of the former Northern Marianas Trades Institute/current Northern Marianas Technical Institute. At that meeting you asked, “Where’s the money and why did NMTI have only $ 13,000 in its bank account” when $750,000 had been appropriated and transferred to NMTI during FY 2020.
The short answer to your inquiry is: that information is located in the interim CEO’s laptop, which was delivered to the interim CEO by trustee Kautz on April 6, 2021. That laptop was transferred from R&R accounting services upon your request. If the NMTI interim CEO is updating NMTI’s ongoing expenses/disbursements and monitoring the amount in the bank from April 6 on, (the day I was no longer of service to NMTI), you will find where the money went.
I trust that you and the other trustees reviewed the Committee Report on Transition, section “Audit & Finance Transition Sub-Committee Report,” which the NMTI board of directors had reviewed, updated and submitted to all members of the board of trustees. That report shows that, of the $750,000, $586,118 was to be used for the salary and benefits of the instructors, bus drivers, and student services personnel; and that $163,882 was to be used to pay for instructional and administrative costs.
I take this opportunity to respond to your concern and assure you that misuse of the $750,000 of CW funds was never ever considered on my part. In fact, I gave eight months, five days a week, and most of the time more than eight hours a day of free services to NMTI when the employees of NMTI were furloughed, so that the institution would not be shut down. At all times I was fully aware and gravely concerned that our EDA partner would consider the total shutdown of NMTI negatively toward awarding NMTI the $10 million for its new facility.
Chairman Valentino, if you have any questions or lack information regarding this or other related topics, please invite me for explanations or answers instead of addressing such concern via the local media.
Agnes M. McPhetres
Former NMTI CEO