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Delegation session cut short by power outage

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THE Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation members were in the middle of asking questions to the three nominees to the Commonwealth Casino Commission when power at the legislative building went out Wednesday.

The nominees are casino commission executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero, former Speaker Ralph S. Demapan, and former Rep. Mario Taitano.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres nominated them to fill the seats vacated by Juan M. Sablan, Alvaro Santos, and Jose C. Reyes whose terms end today, April 30.

From left background, Commonwealth Casino Commission Executive Director Edward C. Deleon Guerrero, former Speaker Ralph Demapan, and former Rep. Mario Taitano appear before the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation on Wednesday in the House chamber. The three have been nominated by the governor to the Commonwealth Casino Commission board. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano 

Members of the public who attended the delegation session on Wednesday were given the opportunity to comment.

Peter Muna urged Saipan lawmakers to conduct public hearings on the nominees while casino commission employees, Charlie Atalig and Vicente Babauta testified in support of Deleon Guerrero’s nomination.

The delegation floor leader, Sen. Vinnie Sablan, moved that the delegation resolve itself into a committee of the whole to give members an opportunity to ask the nominees questions.

But the question-and-answer portion of the session had just started when the power went out. The delegation then adjourned the session.

Senator Sablan said the nominations of Deleon Guerrero, Demapan, and Taitano will be sent to the delegation Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations chaired by Rep. Joel Camacho.

The committee is expected to schedule public hearings and solicit comments from members of the public.

Rep. Tina Sablan, for her part, thanked the individuals who urged delegation members not to rush the confirmation of the nominees.

She also thanked the delegation chairman, House Floor Leader John Paul P. Sablan, House Minority Leader Edwin Propst, and the other members for agreeing to hold a hearing and another session, and to give members more time to “vet” the nominees and review their records.

 

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