PALAU CONSIDERS U.S. ATTORNEY FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

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Former Oregon District Attorney awaits offer

By Jose Señase SAIPAN, CNMI Islands (Marianas Variety, Jan. 5, 2011) – A former prosecutor from Oregon State has expressed interest in the special Prosecutor’s post of Palau, Press Secretary Fermin Meriang said.

Mike Dugan, a former district attorney of Deschutes Country, is willing to take the job if Palau President Johnson Toribiong offers it to him.

Dugan has already been interviewed in person by Attorney General Ernestine Rengiil who was in the U.S. last month and has spoken to the President by phone.

Toribiong still wanted to interview Dugan in person before making any decision, Meriang said.

"The president wants the most qualified and independent person for such an important position, Meriang added. Dugan will travel to Palau this month for a personal interview with the President. If the President finds him to be the most qualified individual who can function independently, it could be possible that the job will be offered to him," Meriang said.

Dugan served for over 24 years as District Attorney for Deschutes County but lost to Patrick Flaherty in an election on May 18, 2010.

Flaherty was sworn in as the new District Attorney on Jan. 3, 2011.

The special prosecutor’s position has been vacant for more than eight months. The position was last held by Michael Copeland, who resigned early last year.

The special prosecutor is mandated to investigate white collar crimes and wrongdoings committed by the President, Vice President, lawmakers and their staff.

The president appoints a special prosecutor with the advice and consent of the national legislature, the Olbiil Era Kelulau.

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