12 Jun 2013

Ex-CNMI lieutenant governor resentenced to nine years in prison

6:29 pm on 12 June 2013

The former lieutenant-governor of the Northern Marianas, Timothy Villagomez, has been resentenced to nine years in prison, up from his original sentence of seven years and three months.

Appearing in the US District court in Saipan, Villagomez said he accepted responsibility for his role in defrauding the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation by purchasing vast quantities of a de-scaling chemical.

Mr Villagomez was escorted from a federal prison in Arizona two weeks ago for resentencing in the CNMI after it was found his original 2009 sentence was miscalculated by a judge.

His co-defendants, a former commerce secretary James Santos and his wife Joaquina, the chemicals' importers, were each sentenced to six years and six months prison.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says Villagomez will be returned to Arizona to serve the rest of his sentence.

"When he was sentenced back in 2009, that's when the nine years is going to start. So instead of 2016 he has to serve his time until 2018 now. We don't have any federal prison here so he has to go back to the States and serve his time."

Mark Rabago says the CUC still has all the chemicals, which aren't the best and leave a lot of residue when used.