Former Lt. Gov. Raymond S. Tenorio found not guilty
On March 22 a Superior Court of Guam jury found Former Lt. Gov. Raymond S. Tenorio not guilty of the charges brought against him for handling the weapon of an on-duty police officer. The charges were filed after Tenorio grabbed the officer’s weapon from his holster at a Guam Barbeque Block Party in July 2018. Tenorio was head of public safety at the time.

“I’d like to thank the jury for their civic duty,” Chief Prosecutor J. Basil O’Mallon III said. “I also want to express my sincerest appreciation to the hardworking men and women in law enforcement who hold themselves to the highest standard when protecting and serving our community, even when faced with difficult situations.”    


Construction company files suit against CNMI Fire Department
Double A Corp. of Saipan filed a law suit on March 22 against Anthony Babauta and Claudio K. Norita of the CNMI Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

Double A is a construction company that specializes in the installation of fire sprinkler systems and fire suppression. The plaintiff submitted a quote to Proper Grand CNMI LLC in October 2017 for installation of a fire sprinkler system in a complex of buildings known as Sugar King Dormitory, according to legal documents. The proposed work was for the price of $410,150. Proper Grand agreed to hire Double A contingent upon the approval of the plan by the Fire Department.

Babauta allegedly refused to accept any permit application from Double A and failed to issue any writing stating the reasons for his rejection. The plaintiff appealed to Norita who also refused to accept any permit application from Double A and failed to provide any reasons for his rejection in writing.

Both defendants made comments to Double A indicating the reason for their refusal to accept any permit was an installation error allegedly committed by Double A at some point in the past and/or Double A’s failure to pass an on-the-spot oral test imposed by the defendants.

The plaintiff said he believes the defendants or another person on their behalf contacted Proper Grand and advised Double A was not authorized to complete the installation work. As a result, Proper Grand hired another subcontractor causing Double A to lose the value of its contract.

The defendants said they maintain a list of contractors to whom they will grant permits to install sprinkler system and have consciously excluded Double A from said list. Therefore, Double A is not lawfully able to engage in its fire sprinkler installation business, it alleged. 


Settlement reached between poker operators and workers
On March 22 a settlement was reached between two Northern Mariana Islands poker operators — Jin Dong Zeng, principal of Zeng’s American Corp., which does business as Happy Poker, and Xiu Fang Huang, principal of Dong Fang Trading Corp., which does business as Happy Poker II, and four cashiers — Katrina Del Gaellego Dempan, Ma. Gina Tiozon, Mary Jane G. Muhi and Emelinda E. Sanchez — who filed suit against them in 2018.

The cashiers claimed they were not compensated adequately for their work under the Fair Labor Standards Act and requested to be paid the applicable minimum wage and overtime along with liquidated damages and attorney fees.

In the settlement agreement, the defendants will pay a total settlement payment of $200,000 to the plaintiffs which represents back wages, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees and costs. The poker operators will pay $50,000 initially and the remainder will be paid over a 24-month installment plan, according to legal documents. mbj