CNMI Public Safety Commissioner Mafnas On Indefinite Leave

admin's picture

Governor relieved laws unbroken in spite of ‘inappropriate actions’

By Haidee V. Eugenio

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, April 26, 2012) – Gov. Benigno R. Fitial is relieved that his Cabinet appointee, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Ray Mafnas, has been cleared of any violation of law but is concerned about findings that he violated investigative and interpersonal standards, press secretary Angel Demapan said Tuesday.

"While he is relieved that no violations of law were found, the governor remains cognizant of the other inappropriate actions cited in the report," Demapan said, referring to the findings of the Office of the Attorney General's 25-day investigation on the allegations against Mafnas.

Demapan said the governor is reviewing the report in its entirety at this time.

It's not known whether Fitial would proceed with his plan to call for a news briefing on Thursday, wherein he might announce his decision on what to do with Mafnas.

As of Tuesday, Mafnas is still on administrative leave and there's no schedule for him to return to work, Demapan added.

[PIR editor’s note: Mafnas maintains he "always exercises impartiality and justice" in his duties as commissioner. Over 140 DPS personnel signed a petition to remove Mafnas, alleging his "authoritarian leadership, confrontational approach, micro-management and lack of faith and trust in the staff of the Department of Public Safety has brought a never ending fear of reprisal, humiliation and degradation within our ranks and file." The Attorney-General’s office has since dismissed the petition on the grounds the allegations presented were too vague to constitute the proposed removal of Mafnas, although the commissioner was still found guilty of violating a number of protocol and procedural standards.]

Attorney General Edward Buckingham, at a news briefing on Monday, said a violation of investigative standards is a matter of significance warranting serious consideration by the governor.

The OAG also determined that Mafnas violated DPS operating protocols, which suggest the need for the commissioner to have additional management oversight and possible training.

It also said Mafnas violated interpersonal standards of conduct, which suggests follow-up and possible training needs.

But it concluded as "unfounded" seven other allegations against the commissioner.

The OAG submitted the 74-page report, mostly exhibits, to Fitial on Friday.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment