Lt. Governor Nabbed By Feds: CUC probe leads to arrests
CNMI Lt. Governor Tim Villagomez, Secretary of Commerce James Santos and his wife, Joaquina Santos, the Lt. Governor's sister, were taken into custody today Monday, August 11, by federal officials following an FBI probe into the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation. KSPN 2 News learned that FBI officials had previously interviewed CUC employees about contracts and procurement practices as part of an investigation into misuse of federal funds. The fourth defendant and former CUC Executive Director Anthony Guerrero pled guilty last Friday to one count of conspiracy.
The Lt. Governor and the Santos' all pled not guilty this afternoon in Federal Court and were released on a 50,000 dollar bond. The federal investigation began in February with a look at procurement practices at CUC. Officials believe that Villagomez channeled fat sole source contracts to his sister and her husband in violation of procurement rules starting back in 1998 when he was in charge of the utility. They also believe another contract was channeled to the pair in 2007 when he as Lt. Governor was overseeing the utility for the Fitial Administration. An October trial date has been set. Villagomez is being represented by Guam attorney David Lujan.