DPS IT network administrator, former officer testify in trial of Ogumoro, Manglona

DEPARTMENT of Public Safety information technology network administrator William Rathburn and former DPS officer Kevin Maratita testified on Tuesday in the ongoing jury trial of former DPS Deputy Commissioner Ambrosio Ogumoro and the brother of his girlfriend, Herman Manglona.

The two are charged with theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, conspiracy to commit theft by deception, and receiving stolen property.

Rathburn told the court that Ogumoro took him to his True North Bar in Garapan after picking him up at his house at 7 in the evening on March 12, 2013.

Rathburn said he thought that they were going to Ogomoro’s DPS office. Ogumoro, he added, told him that the DPS official had a computer problem.

At the time, Rathburn said, his car “was in pieces,” but Ogumoro told Rathburn that the DPS official would pick him up.

Rathburn said he recognized that the computer at True North Bar was DPS property. After inspecting the computer, Rathburn said he told Ogumoro that he could not fix the problem which was with the CPU. He said Ogumoro instructed him to take it to Saipan Computer Services which Rathburn said he did.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Baisley asked Rathburn who gave him the authorization to fix the government property in question.

Rathburn said it was Ogumoro.

Rathburn said when he asked Ogumoro about the funding for the repair, Ogumoro made a phone call to Bureau of Motor Vehicles Director Juana Deleon Guerrero.

Rathburn said after the CPU was repaired Ogumoro instructed him to pick it up and bring it to True North.

Rathburn said Ogumoro told him not to tell anybody about the CPU.

When asked by the government prosecutor how that made him feel, Rathburn said he was “conflicted.”

“I thought I was getting involved in doing something wrong,” he added.

He felt that “the whole thing would get out and officers were going to find out because the [computer] was easily visible to anybody entering True North.”

He added, “I waited a couple of days, pretty much waiting for Ogumoro to return the [computer] to [the DPS] Susupe office, or have me come down and take it back to Susupe.”

Rathburn said he believed that “if somebody else found out this was happening, I would wind up in a whole different role because I was going to be part of that [computer] being placed where it was not supposed to be — so I reported it to Sgt. Tom Blas.”

The prosecution presented five pieces of evidence that were accepted by the court as exhibits without objection from the defense. These included computer equipment and a CPU job order from Saipan Computer Services.

Former DPS officer Kevin Maratita testified that he was temporarily assigned to internal affairs at that time, and that he looked into Rathburn’s allegation.

Ogumoro’s defense counsel, Mark Hanson, asked Maratita when he found out that Ogumoro was the subject of his investigation.

“Only after talking to Rathburn,” Maratita replied.

Hanson asked Maratita if then-DPS Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero asked him to investigate Ogumoro.

“No sir,” Maratita replied.

Hanson then showed a report from another detective that noted that Maratita and the other detective were investigating Ogumoro before March 7, 2013.

“I thought this was about the computer [investigation],” Maratita said.

“I asked you if you were investigating Ogumoro [under] the direction of then Commissioner Deleon Guerrero,” Hanson said. “You said you didn’t know until you talked to the IT administrator on March 7 — isn’t that what you told me?”

Maratita said if report from another detective was about the Tercel then, “yes they asked us to check on the Toyota Tercel,” referring to the DPS vehicle that, according to the prosecution, Ogumoro brought to a shop for repairs using DPS funds amounting to $2,500 before selling the vehicle to Herman Manglona for $50.

“You knew that time who you were investigating,” Hanson told Maratita. “The DPS commissioner had tasked you to go after the deputy commissioner.”

Maratita replied, “Sir, like I said that was [the other detective’s] assignment [the Toyota Tercel]. I was just helping her do research on it. I was not assigned to investigate the deputy commissioner.”

Maratita said he was asked to investigate the allegation that Rathburn made. “When I talked to him, that’s how I found out that it was Deputy Commissioner Ogumoro.”

Assistant Public Defender Tillman Clark, who appeared for Manglona, told the jurors that there was no grand conspiracy.

He said there was no theft and no receiving stolen property.

“Mr. Manglona took a risk. He bought a car…he worked on it and sold it for $700 — nothing wrong with that,” Clark said, adding “the fact that he [his client] sits here is a travesty.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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