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Oath-of-office ceremony for NMI director of courts and chief marshal

(CNMI Judiciary) — On Jan. 8, 2018, Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro presided over an oath-of-office ceremony for two judiciary employees.

Sonia A. Camacho took her oath as director of courts for the CNMI judiciary, and Jason T. Tarkong took his oath as chief marshal of the CNMI judiciary before Supreme Court justices, Superior Court judges, court managers, deputy marshals, and other law enforcement officers.

Chief Marshal Jason T. Tarkong is sworn in by Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro.Chief Marshal Jason T. Tarkong is sworn in by Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro.

Chief Justice Castro thanked Gov. Ralph Torres, Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog, Senate President Arnold Palacios, Speaker Ralph Demapan and other members of the House and the Senate for providing the needed FTEs and funding for the positions of director of courts and chief marshal. “Because of your support,” the chief justice said, “the court is in a better position to deliver efficient and effective judicial services to the people of the commonwealth. I also thank Sonia Camacho and Jason Tarkong for accepting their positions as well as the challenges that lie ahead. I have no doubt that Director Camacho and Chief Tarkong will fulfill the responsibilities to the best of their abilities.”

Sonia Camacho has been with the CNMI judiciary for over 20 years, initially appointed in 1995 by then-Presiding Judge Alexandro C. Castro to serve as a judicial assistant to then-Judge Edward Manibusan. She has since served four chief justices and three presiding judges in various capacities. Prior to her recent appointment, Camacho was the special assistant to the presiding judge/deputy director of courts and assisted the chief justice as acting director of courts. She has served on various management teams, supervised chamber assignments, facilitated court programs and projects, overseen transitional and budgetary initiatives, and assisted with the development of case management strategies.

Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro administers the oath of office to the director of courts, Sonia Camacho.Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro administers the oath of office to the director of courts, Sonia Camacho.

Camacho’s new role will involve the supervision of personnel with the CNMI Judiciary Administrative Office. She will be overseeing the judiciary’s policy development and planning, court performance monitoring, and assisting with the implementation of the judiciary’s strategic plan, Judicial Council initiatives, and justice programs.

Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio said after the proceeding, “It comes as no surprise that Ms. Camacho was appointed to lead the administration of the courts. Director Camacho is a capable leader with vast experience and institutional knowledge of the courts. What I appreciate most about Director Camacho is her ability to foresee not just the proximate but the distal goals of the CNMI judiciary, and to implement the tough decisions. I look forward to continued progress in the judiciary with her as our director of courts.”

Director of Courts Sonia A. Camacho and Chief Marshal Jason T. Tarkong pose with CNMI justices, judges and judiciary division managers.  CNMI judiciary photosDirector of Courts Sonia A. Camacho and Chief Marshal Jason T. Tarkong pose with CNMI justices, judges and judiciary division managers. CNMI judiciary photos

Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja said about the appointment: “Ms. Sonia is definitely an asset to the CNMI judiciary. I am proud of her appointment. She is the best qualified person for the job. She has the institutional knowledge. My colleagues and I wish her the best of luck and congratulate her on the new appointment. Her appointment as the director of courts will definitely also be a benefit for the Superior Court.”

Jason Tarkong joins the CNMI judiciary after serving over 25 years in various law enforcement posts with the CNMI. Leaving his latest post as a police lieutenant with the Department of Public Safety, Tarkong brings to the Marshal Services Division his experience in investigative and police work and program management. While at DPS, he served as officer in charge of the bike patrol unit and sex-offender registry, crime stoppers coordinator, certified firearms instructor, former range master and armorer, public-information officer, and SWAT team leader. Tarkong’s new role will involve the supervision of deputy marshals and handling all aspects of court security management, including safety and security protocols for members of the bench, court personnel, service providers, consumers, proceedings, and facilities.