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Governor: DPS chief hasn’t been paid for OT

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AN official document indicates that Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero is requesting 41 hours of overtime pay.

The document was signed on May 29, 2020 by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, but he said Guerrero has not been paid yet.

Variety was unable to confirm the exact amount of OT pay that Guerrero will receive.

During a live virtual press conference on KKMP radio Friday morning, the governor said he signs his cabinet members’ overtime requests, adding that he makes sure that they worked during “those overtime” hours.

“I want to make sure that their hours are…calculated,” the governor said. But “in terms of payment, none of them have been paid. We want to make sure that all of our employees get paid first… before any cabinet [members] are paid overtime.”

Whether or not overtime is covered by the emergency funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said, has yet to be determined.

FEMA is still discussing this with the governor’s authorized representative, Patrick Guerrero, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management special assistant Gerald Deleon Guerrero, Torres said.

“We want to make sure that our employees who have worked overtime are justified for reimbursements first before moving forward with the cabinet members. Covid-19 is a totally different matter. There are specific rules and regulations on what work has been done that will be covered under Covid-19 operation, and that is why we are asking all of our employees to justify…their scope of work, what their line of duty is [and to] justify their hours worked,” Torres said.

As for furloughed government employees who have expressed disappoint that cabinet members are seeking overtime pay, the governor said, “I am sorry that we are where we are at, that our economy is shut down [because of] Covid-19, and that there are no tourists coming in, but that is out of our hands. We cannot do anything about it.”

He said the government has to prioritize healthcare as part of the CNMI response to the pandemic.

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