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Last updateSat, 19 Jan 2019 12am







    Saturday, January 19, 2019-11:57:47P.M.






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Ex-Labor chief asks court to dismiss traffic case

TWO weeks before the start of her bench trial, former Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero is asking the Superior Court to dismiss the traffic charges filed against her by the Office of the Attorney General.

Deleon Guerrero, through Assistant Public Defender Heather M. Zona, also moved, in the alternative, for the dismissal as time-barred of count III of the information that charged Deleon Guerrero with restriction upon use of government vehicle by using or driving such vehicle that did not bear government license plates.

 Zona said the information violates Deleon Guerrero’s due process rights as guaranteed by the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

 The government, she added, lacks sufficient evidence. Moreover, she said the defendant’s right to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the U.S and the CNMI constitutions has been violated.

Edith Deleon Guerrero

 Zona said the information does not contain the charge of violating 7406(g)(1) which was contained in the initial complaint-declaration.

 In each count of the information, Zona said, a three-year time period is alleged, and Deleon Guerrero is identified as the purported violator.

 But no facts or circumstances are alleged, Zona added.

 She reiterated that the information must be dismissed because it fails to provide sufficient notice and violates the defendant’s due process rights.

 “The end result is a waste of judicial resources,” Zona said.

 In this case, she added, the government cannot show that the vehicle at issue was owned by the commonwealth, or leased by the commonwealth or leased by the commonwealth for more than 12 months.

 “The case must be dismissed because none of the vehicles in this case is a government vehicle as a matter of law,” Zona said.

 On Oct. 11, 2016, Deleon Guerrero was cited for violating a provision of Title I of the Commonwealth Code.

 But Zona said Title I is not part of the Traffic Code and that no facts were alleged on the complaint-declaration.

Deleon Guerrero was cited for three violations for driving an unmarked government vehicle with tinted windows. She has pleaded not guilty.

 The three charges are punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or three days imprisonment.

 On April 4, 2018 — 18 months after the original citation was issued to Deleon Guerrero — the government filed information charging her with three counts of restriction upon use of government vehicles.

Assistant Attorney General Robby Glass Jr.  stated that from Dec. 8, 2013 to Oct. 11, 2016, Deleon Guerrero used a government vehicle that had tinting materials on its windows; that was not clearly marked as such on both front doors; and did not bear government license plates.

 When the traffic citation was issued against Deleon Guerrero, she was driving a red  Toyota registered to Marfega Trading Co. Inc. She said it was a rental car and not government property.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho said the bench trial will start on May 9, 2018 at 9 a.m. at the federal courthouse.