Election officials no-show at board nominee’s hearing

THE members of the Senate Committee on Executive  Appointments and Government Investigations  noted that no one from the Commonwealth Election Commission was present at the public hearing conducted by the panel, Wednesday, on the nomination of Henry Emery Kaipat as member of the CEC board representing the Third Senatorial District.

But members of Kaipat’s family and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero   testified  in support of the nomination.

Kaipat has been a police/boating safety officer for 25 years.

Sen. Sixto Igisomar said the nominee’s résumé and credentials “are awesome” so he wondered why no officials from the election commission attended the public hearing.

Kaipat was appointed by Gov. Ralph Torres to the CEC board on March 28, 2018.

In his testimony, DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero said he has known Kaipat for over 10 years, and he is confident that he will do a good job on the election commission as he is doing right now as a police officer.

Former Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council vice chairman Diego Kaipat as well as other relatives also testified on his behalf.

The senators encouraged the nominee to work with the other CEC board members and look into the concerns regarding absentee voting.

Sen. Frank Cruz, the committee chairman, said it bothers him that Kaipat’s position is considered critical but no one from CEC was around to answer questions.

Sens. Justo Quitugua and Sixto Igisomar echoed the same sentiments. They added that they were glad a former CEC executive director, the DPS commissioner, showed up to support the governor’s appointee.

Variety was unable to get  a comment from CEC officials.

In an interview, Henry Kaipat said he was humbled and honored by the governor’s trust and confidence in him. He said if his nomination is confirmed, he will work with his fellow board members and look into the concerns raised by the senators.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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