Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has refused to comment about last week’s Senate session during which Sens. Victor B. Hocog (R-Rota) and Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) engaged in a shouting match that nearly ended in a fistfight during the session’s recess in the Senate chamber.
In an interview Wednesday, Torres said at this point it is best that he rather not comment about the Hocog-Manglona spat because the impeachment proceeding is still ongoing.
Torres said he has not spoken to Hocog, Manglona, and any other senators as to what the Impeachment Rules are. He said it is best that he will go through that impeachment process.
The governor said with respect to the impeachment issue, he has no communication with senators. He said his communication with senators is only when there are government functions such as the recent Divert Airfield project groundbreaking on Tinian, or proclamation signing, which he is happy to be part of that.
Torres also said he is not paying the legal services of former Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Joe McDoulett, who served as special counsel for the Senate in the impeachment proceedings.
During Monday’s Senate special session’s public comment portion, Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) said the fact that McDoulett was hired as special counsel to draft up the Impeachment Rules and personally participated as the joint committee’s counsel during their meeting Friday instead of the two Senate counsel is contradictory to and is a betrayal of the CNMI Constitution.
“The question I ask is who is providing direct or indirect funding for special counsel, Joe McDoulett? Is it the governor? The mayor of Tinian? Or the Senate leadership?” Babauta asked.
Senate president Jude U. Hofchneider (R-Tinian) said that his office hired the services of McDoulett to assist in the drafting of the Impeachment Rules and in the proceedings.