The CNMI government says its decision to place the Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Ramon Mafnas, on administrative leave does not in any way mean it believes the allegations against him are true.
The lieutenant governor, Eloy Inos, says Mr Mafnas was placed on leave to allow an investigative process to begin.
Mr Inos acknowledged the petition signed by the 139 Department employees against Mr Mafnas reinforced their concerns about the police commander.
The petition accused Mr Mafnas of authoritarian leadership, a confrontational approach, micro-management, and lack of faith and trust in staff.
But the administration is stressing it wants to ensure all the allegations are thoroughly and fairly investigated.
In other developments, Bureau of Motor Vehicle staff have filed a complaint before the Office of Personnel Management against Mr Mafnas, alleging harassment, intimidation, and creating a hostile working environment.