The Saipan Tribune has today, Friday, published this as news: Fitial in pain.
This news report is predominantly spin, with some very lame excuses:
1. The DOC chief Dolores San Nicolas takes responsibility. She tried to reach the AG and a U.S. Marshall first, but couldn't.
2. Fitial was in severe pain.
3. His wife was present throughout.
Of course Dolores San NIcolas is responsible for her role in this. But her job security depends on the Governor, and he called her and "asked" for the prisoner to be brought to him. He is also responsible.
Both should face consequences for their actions. Those consequences should include both employment discipline /loss of their jobs and criminal contempt/other charges.
Also, the veracity of their statements should be thoroughly tested. I hope the Feds get the communications records to confirm whether San Nicolas made such phone call/attempts to the AG and the US Marshall. Can records show this?
It makes no difference how the Governor felt as to the abuse of power. You don't get to use prisoners for your personal needs because you have personal needs and are the Governor.
Also, is this believable in light of his conduct public appearances on that day and the next? The Governor has had medical problems; and those do relate to his back, which means he could be in pain. It's plausible. Yet there are no reports that he seemed in any way to be slower, in pain, uncomfortable on the days leading up to this or the next day.
On # 3
It makes little difference what his wife did to the Governor's abuse of power. The abuse is getting a federal prisoner out of detention for your personal services. I'm sure in the public's eye that massage is less scandalous than prostitution, but both are equally weak as legal support for the Governor's actions.
There there is the question of whether this is believable. Quite frankly, I'm having trouble believing it. But I wasn't there, and don't know. But then I keep going back to the photograph of the first couple, and the anger and unhappiness in the faces of Josie and Ben. At the inauguration, when they should be celebrating.
Just makes me skeptical.
So what do we call this scandal? I've seen "rub-a-dub-dub gate" but I don't much like that, because it makes me think of bathtubs not massage. Other ideas? "Chingching gate" or "Pain-Relief-gate"?
You can watch the KSPN news on this story here.