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Public defender’s office to represent former Labor chief in misuse-of-government-vehicle case

JUDGE Joseph N. Camacho has appointed the Office of the Public Defender as counsel for former Department of Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero who is charged with misuse of a government vehicle.

Deleon Guerrero appeared on her own behalf at a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on a government motion for clarification of law. Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Glass Jr. represented the government.

Edith Deleon Guerrero

Judge Camacho found Deleon Guerrero eligible for court-appointed counsel after she informed the judge that she is unemployed and still looking for employment and has no source of income.

Judge Camacho continued the matter for a motion hearing to Oct. 5, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. He said Sept. 22 is the due date for filing of opposition, if any.

Thursday’s hearing was for the motion of clarification filed by the Attorney General’s Office regarding the terms “vehicle owned” or “leased” in the traffic case against Deleon Guerrero.

The AG’s office asked the court to clarify how it intends to interpret “government vehicle.”

On Oct 1, 2016, Deleon Guerrero was cited for driving an unmarked government vehicle with tinted windows. She appeared pro se in the court proceedings and pled not guilty. She said the case against her was ridiculous because she was driving a rental car.

In a prior traffic case against then-Education Commissioner Dr. Rita A. Sablan, Judge Camacho acquitted the defendant of the same charges filed against Deleon Guerrero.

According to Assistant AG Glass, Judge Camacho ruled that the car Sablan drove was not a “government vehicle” because it was leased for 15 days and not the statutorily required 12 months.

Judge Camacho defined a vehicle owned or leased according to the definition found in 9CMC 1103(e) in Sablan’s case, Glass said.

The Office of the AG appealed the ruling on Sablan’s case, but the CNMI Supreme Court dismissed it and sanctioned the commonwealth because the appeal was deemed frivolous.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/97436-public-defender-s-office-to-represent-former-labor-chief-in-misuse-of-government-vehicle-case

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