27 Apr 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – email@example.com – Variety News Staff
THE prosecution on Wednesday afternoon called two witnesses to testify in the jury trial of former Department of Public Safety Deputy Commissioner Ambrosio Ogumoro and his girlfriend’s brother, Herman Manglona. The two were charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, conspiracy to commit theft by deception, and receiving stolen property.
Assistant Attorneys General Matthew Baisley and Heather Barcinas called to the witness stand Bureau of Motor Vehicles Director Juana Deleon Guerrero and Division of Procurement & Supply specialist Antonio S. Manahane.
According to the prosecution, Ogumoro took a 1995 Toyota Tercel that belonged to DPS to an auto shop to be repaired using DPS funds totaling $2,500. He then sold the car to Manglona for $50 in Sept. 2012.
Asked by defense counsel Tillman Clark if she knew what the worth of the Toyota Tercel was in 2012, Deleon Guerrero said she didn’t.
Manahane, a supply specialist with Procurement & Supply for 22 years now, explained how the sale of government property, like a vehicle, could proceed.
Manahane said it is not unusual for such items to be sold for $100, $75 or $50.
He said he signed the sale of the vehicle in question as part of his normal job routine after receiving the prerequisite documentation.
Ogumoro is also accused of taking a DPS computer to his True North Bar and then using DPS funds to repair it.
Manahane said the computer accepted as evidence by the court is on the master list of government property, and that it was assigned to the DPS commissioner’s office.
Also testifying for the prosecution on Wednesday were Pamela Halstead of the CNMI Business License Office, and a Saipan Computer Services staffer.
Ogumoro’s lawyer, Mark B. Hanson, said the case is about the vendetta by then-DPS Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero against Ogumoro.
At the time, Hanson said, DPS vehicles needed to be maintained and Ogumoro “stepped in using his no-nonsense military style of management.”
Hanson said the 1995 Toyota Tercel in 2012 was “a real piece of junk,” adding that “it’s a management decision to sell a junk car for $50. There’s nothing wrong with that. No crime.”
Regarding the computer, Hanson said Ogumoro did his work as DPS deputy commissioner even at his True North Bar.
“It’s not a crime,” he added.
Assistant Public Defender Tillman Clark, counsel for Manglona, said his client has been accused of a crime that he did not commit.
Clark said when Manglona bought the car for $50 the vehicle was “trash and it barely ran.”
Manglona, with help from a family friend, fixed the car and after eight months sold it for $700, Clark added.
“None of that is a crime at all,” Clark said. “There is no grand conspiracy.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/94811-bmv-director-procurement-supply-specialist-testify-in-trial-of-ogumoro-and-manglona