Slider
Slider

|

Slider

BOE votes to file motion for summary judgment

Local
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

THE Board of Education voted 3-2 to file a motion for summary judgment in the Public School System lawsuit against the CNMI government over the PSS budget.

BOE Chairwoman Janice Tenorio and vice chairman Herman Atalig voted against the motion, while board members Phillip Mendiola-Long, Andrew Orsini, and MaryLou Ada voted for it.

Prior to the vote, Public School System legal counsel Tiberius Mocanu explained where PSS currently stands in its lawsuit against the CNMI government.

He said a motion for summary judgment “basically says that there are no disputes as to what the facts are and, in our case, there are none. We can all agree on what the numbers that the Department of Finance has, and what appropriations to PSS and to other agencies are.”

Mocanu added, “We are simply arguing that the interpretation of the certified question applies to this fiscal year. This changes the formula that should be implemented in giving PSS more money, and this can be decided on the basis of simply the law. It does not require a trial. It is a decision that the judge can make himself, and interpret the two different arguments that are going to be made, interpret the certified question decision, and then apply.”

Tenorio then said, “I think it is a little bit premature to file it because we should all sit down. As board members, we can go to the executive to agree and work with the central government for immediate relief, so we can get these [employees] paid.”

She also clarified for the record that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has never said that he does not want to have a sit-down with the BOE and PSS key management. “Let’s set a time and date to meet with the governor and the secretary of Finance,” she added.

The chairwoman also mentioned the Fiscal Response Summit, and the role of PSS in it, thanking Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada and PSS chief procurement officer Kimo Rosario for participating in the summit.

Atalig suggested deferring the lawsuit “until the government can stand on its feet.” He added, “We cannot stand alone.”

After voting to file a motion for summary judgment, the board then moved to further discuss the motion in an executive or closed-door session with the board members, secretary, legal counsel, chief procurement officer, and federal programs manager.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider