Public hearings on AG and Casino Commission nominees Thursday


Gov. Eloy S. Inos’ nominees for attorney general and three Casino Commission members will be the subject of separate public hearings on Capital Hill Thursday afternoon.

The Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations will hold a public hearing on the governor’s nomination of acting attorney general Gilbert Birnbrich as CNMI attorney general at 2pm on Thursday.

Sen. Frank Cruz (R-Tinian), chairman of the Senate EAGI Committee, requested the CNMI Bar Association, a representative from the governor’s office, staff and management of the Office of the Attorney General, and private citizens to testify on the AG nomination.

The governor appointed Birnbrich as AG on Aug. 4, and sent his name to the Senate on the same day.

Should the Senate confirm Birnbrich’s nomination, he will become the CNMI’s last appointed attorney general as voters will elect an AG for the first time in the November general elections.

Moreover, if and when senators confirm his appointment, Birnbrich would hold the post for barely four months or less until the CNMI’s first elected AG takes his oath of office in January.

Birnbrich previously served as chief of the OAG’s Civil Division before he was tapped as deputy AG. Birnbrich has been serving as acting AG since Joey Patrick San Nicolas resigned in early July.

Casino Commission

Rep. Christopher Leon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan), chairman of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, signed off on a notice yesterday of a Thursday 1pm public hearing on the governor’s nominations of three individuals to serve on the regulatory Casino Commission.

The three nominees are former Marianas Public Land Trust board trustee Alvaro A. Santos, former representative Joseph C. Reyes, and businessman Juan M. Sablan.

This public hearing comes a month after the CNMI government, through the Lottery Commission, granted an exclusive license to Best Sunshine International Ltd. to develop a $3.14-billion integrated casino resort on Saipan.

SNILD chair Rep. Ray Tebuteb (Ind-Saipan) gave Leon Guerrero’s JGO Committee 30 days from Sept. 17 to submit their recommendation to the delegation, including whether to approve or reject the nominations.

Haidee V. Eugenio | Reporter
Haidee V. Eugenio has covered politics, immigration, business and a host of other news beats as a longtime journalist in the CNMI, and is a recipient of professional awards and commendations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental achievement award for her environmental reporting. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

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