Retiree slams Settlement Fund trustee

RETIREE and former Rep. Mario Taitano said neither Deputy Attorney General Lillian Tenorio nor Settlement Fund trustee Joyce Tang have met with him to discuss the issues he earlier brought to the federal court’s attention.

In a letter to the District Court for the NMI, Taitano cited Tang’s failure to pursue litigation against a software company that provided a defective software pension system that cost over $400,000.

Due to lack of prosecution, Taitano said the CNMI Superior Court dismissed the NMI Retirement Fund’s lawsuit against Gerhardt “Gary” Sword doing business as Express Electronics Ltd.

“This is not $4, $40, $400, $4,000 or $40,000 — this is $400,000 Retirement Fund members’ money that was literally given away,” Taitano added.

In her response to the court’s inquiry, Tang said the lawsuit against Sword and Express Electronics initiated by the NMI Retirement Fund was not identified as an asset to be transferred to the Settlement Fund

Taitano said Tang told the court it was the CNMI government’s responsibility to pursue the lawsuit.

Taitano said Tang did not fulfil her fiduciary responsibility and did not deserve the court’s praises.

He said he will consult with a lawyer to look into his legal options.

“I’m not an attorney, but it seems that it is a breach of fiduciary responsibility on the part of those charge of the Settlement Fund,” said Taitano referring to the defective pension system software.

He also wants to know why the Settlement Fund trustee withholds 25 percent of the $1,000 lump sum death benefit.

He said the CNMI government has continuously provided funding to pay 100 percent of retirement benefits, but the beneficiaries of those who have passed away ended up receiving $750 only from the Settlement Fund.

“$250 is a lot of money for those who can barely afford to bury their loved ones,” Taitano added.

On Tuesday, District Court for the NMI designated Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood directed the trustee and the deputy attorney general to meet with Taitano to discuss his concerns.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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