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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug. 17) - Verizon Pacifica temporarily cut at least 10 telephone lines at the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Department of Public Safety, including the main line of Commissioner Edward Camacho, due to unpaid bills, Variety learned yesterday.

Sources said Camacho’s main line and some lines at the fire division and training division were temporarily disconnected by Verizon last Thursday.

A DPS staff said the department failed to pay the May and June 2004 billings because the Department of Finance has not yet released the check to pay the phone bills.

"We already made the request for payment of the billings to Finance, but they are holding the release of the check," a DPS employee said.

It was not clear how much DPS owes Verizon or whether a disconnection notice was sent to the department.

Camacho told Variety that the disconnection somehow affected the administrative aspect of the department. He, however, stated that operationally, they are okay.

Camacho said it was not their fault and that he received an assurance from Finance that payment was forthcoming.

August 17, 2004

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