Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Just When It's About to Clear...

Rain, gray skies, and very cool temps all week; the ocean has been slate gray, too. Today, there's some blue and green in the water, the sun is starting to glare through the clouds, and the rain has stopped (although it was still cool this morning).

If Governor Fitial had only kept his mouth shut one more day, the story of Chinese Take-Out / Massage-gate would have been off the front page and possibly not even in the news at all. (Well, except for the Tribune, which seems to be running its stories days late, now telling us today they "learned" about Cheng's legitimate job at Yu Yu Spa--They probably learned about it from reading Wendy's Blog!) But the Governor is keeping the story alive and fresh, and he says now that he did not "order" the "release" of the federal detainee, Qingmei Cheng.

This statement sounds like the semantics game that President Clinton tried (and lost) when he said he didn't have "sex" with his intern. As if a blow job was not sex.

And for Fitial, as if a "request" to an employee who "serves at the governor's pleasure" and can be sacked at any time by you, and who knows you will not hesitate to terminate her employment, is anything other than an order.

It always makes me nervous when the Governor throws out a smelly bone and the media hounds go chasing after it; I wonder whether that is to distract the media and public from something else, something worse.


It's also quite clear this (massage-gate) incident is not an isolated incident, either from the Governor's side or from the Department of Corrections side.

The Governor previously rescued this same "masseuse" from arrest for loitering, making this at least the second time she's been brought by police/correction officials to the governor's mansion to give him a massage.

And DOC's Dolores San Nicolas has (allegedly) at least once before ignored a court order about detention of a person with court-ordered conditions. She allowed her husband, after the court sentenced him to jail without release, to visit the crime scene ostensibly to retrieve a gun (!), and that place happened to be the home of his victim.

Dolores San Nicolas has her hands more than full. Wally Deleon Guerrero died in his cell at DOC, an apparent suicide. Wally was being held on domestic violence charges.

Condolences to Alice Guerrero and family.

And now to the political side of this tragedy: why doesn't DOC has sufficient measures in place to prevent this?

And will the next "apparent suicide" be Qingmei Cheng?

DOC does not sound like a safe place.



Anonymous said...

DOC Adult Correctional Facility is not a safe place. It is a poor design based on the California Penal System. We can expect more incidents. In the old facility the prisoners could excercise outdoors and view civilians on the outside. If I remember in the original request for design, the architectural firm was to consider the chamorrow culture in the design. They never did and we see the result. Not that we should coddle prisoners, but they should have a sense that they are still part of society and will be allowed to re-enter after their sentence is completed. Many of the first offenders are in despair and lay in their beds with blankets over their heads. This is scary. Also, how many beatings have we heard of since the new facility opened. It is poorly constructed by a Saudi company that never constructed a prison in the past.

writtenwyrdd said...

Sounds like your local government is a regular Peyton Place!

Hope all is going well for you besides the massage-gate hoopla!

The Saipan Blogger said...

How can Chamorro culture be woven into prison design? That sounds like a topic for the Council on the Humanities!

Anonymous said...

Saipan Blogger,
The subject of incorporating the chamorro culture was discussed(many times with DCCA and many other groups were involved) and was to be part of the prison design. DOJ was pissed at how and why the old prison cell atmosphere fostered the type violence seen in the riot in 1999.
They had concerns of what was and still is happening in the US territorial prisons such as in the US Virgin Islands, like 20 deaths a year from inmates attacking each other. The designers and the contractors of our almost new detention facilty provided a typical prison from the 1920'2 with modern updates of the Califonia and Texas Penal system. Smirk all you want , but 10 years ago there where many individuals in DOJ, DCCA, CJPA, DPS and other agencies in the CNMI that cared and gave it their all to have a detention facility that actually helped offenders move back into society. Look at what we have.....Lock em up and throw away the key.

bigsoxfan said...

More like lock em up today and let them out tomorrow.