Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 12 Dec 2018 12am

Headlines:

     

     

     

     

     

    Tuesday, December 11, 2018-12:03:43A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Font Size

Settings

Tinian gaming commission looks into conflict-of-interest allegation

THE Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission is aware of the conflict-of-interest allegation against its executive director, William “Bill” Cing, who sold his family’s property to Phillip Mendiola-Long.

TCGCC Vice Chairman Jose Pangelinan Kiyoshi in a statement to Variety said:

“We are aware of the information, and we have forwarded it to our legal counsel and are waiting for his opinion.”

A Tinian resident, who declined to be identified, said Cing sold  family land to Mendiola-Long, chief executive officer of Bridge Investment Group LLC which wants to open a Titanic-themed casino resort on Tinian.

The resident claimed that Cing failed to disclose the transaction.

However, former Sen. David Cing, William Cing’s elder brother, said the transaction was done in court and there was no intention to hide it.

He said William Cing is the administrator of their father’s land, but the decision to sell it was made by the former senator and his other siblings.

The former senator said when they finally sold the property to Mendiola-Long several months ago for $400,000, he asked William Cing if there was a conflict of interest.

“He said no because Mendiola-Long is neither a casino license holder nor a casino investor,” the former senator said.

“The decision to sell the land has to do with our brother Ray’s being sick,and the family needs money for his treatment,” the former senator added.

William Cing, in a separate phone interview, said the transaction started even before he became the executive director of TCGCC but was only finalized five to six months ago.

He said there was no conflict of interest involved because Mendiola-Long, the buyer, is not directly a casino investor or a casino licensee.

William Cing said Mendiola-Long is an employee of Bridge Investment Group LLC.

“He is wearing different hats at the same time, as a municipal council member of Tinian and a businessman who owns a consulting firm,” William Cing added.

“I did not sell our family land as an executive director — I sold it in my capacity as the administrator of the family land.”

He reiterated that his siblings “started this negotiation way before I became an executive director. It was my siblings who negotiated the purchase, and I just signed the document on behalf of all of them as the administrator of that property.”

He added, “If someone wants to use this as an issue then it’s politically motivated because I am supporting the [opposition] candidate [for mayor]. Everybody knows that the gaming commissioners are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the municipal council. So they are using this issue to try to get rid of me, and to hurt the candidacy of my brother-in law,” referring to former Sen. Henry San Nicolas, an independent candidate for mayor running against Republican Rep. Edwin Aldan.