Marianas Variety

Last updateFri, 22 Sep 2017 12am

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    Thursday, September 21, 2017-1:36:18A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Retiree disappointed with Settlement Fund trustee

FORMER Rep. Mario Taitano, a retiree and Zoning Board member, said he is disappointed with Settlement Fund Trustee Joyce Tang of Guam who, he added, should be replaced by someone from Saipan.

In a letter to District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, Taitano noted Tang’s lack of efforts to pursue the lawsuit against Gerhard Sword, also known as Gary Sword, owner of KKMP radio station.

Sword was sued by the NMI Retirement Fund in 2012 in his capacity as owner of a software company, Express Electronics Ltd., which provided the Retirement Fund a defective software pension system that cost over $400,000.

Mario Taitano

“As a retiree, it is extremely disappointing and disheartening to repeatedly read in the local papers on the fee being paid to Ms. Tang,” Taitano told the judge. “If she had pursued the above case, perhaps I may be content with her services regardless if she prevailed or not.”

He said “the Settlement Fund is more accounting and administrative in nature, which can be easily handled by Miss Lilian Pangelinan and her more capable staff [at the Retirement Fund] rather than a highly paid individual from off-island whose airline and expensive lodging are factored into her fees, too.”

Taitano said the judge chose the trustee ad litem, “but I just wish that you consider someone from our beautiful island so that the airline and lodging expenses are saved for us retirees and our beneficiaries.”

He said Tang should explain to the court the reason for withholding 25 percent of the $1,000 lump sum death benefit.

“When a retired member passes away, his or her beneficiary shall receive the entire $1,000; however, only $750 is being paid out. Those affected are distraught and confused because it is their belief that the CNMI government has continuously provided the necessary funding to subsidize this 25 percent shortfall of our retirement benefits,” Taitano said.

“In closing, I respectfully request once again a replacement (for) Ms. Tang and it shall be someone from Saipan and in no way affiliated with the Civille and Tang Law Firm,” he said.

Sword declined to comment while Variety was unable to get a comment from Tang.