FSM Government also files criminal charges against Mark DeOrio in Sokehs Road Project matter

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press


October 13, 2020—In addition to the criminal charges it filed against Norleen Oliver DeOrio related to her blocking the road on her land with her car, the FSM Department of Justice late today filed five criminal charges against her husband Mark DeOrio.  The FSM Government has also suspended both of them from their jobs at the National Government.

The FSM has charged Mark DeOrio with “obstructing administration of law or other government function”, “conflict of interest”, “theft”, “unauthorized possession or removal of property”, and “deprivation of rights”.  The charges are linked to DeOrio’s duties as an FSM Assistant Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication, and Infrastructure (TC&I) and in particular, his responsibilities regarding the implementation of a public project to pave a road across his wife’s land that would end at the family home of Patricia Edwin.  All of the charges are related to his allegedly haven taken a copy of what the government calls a “privileged document” from the TC&I office and sharing it with his wife.  According to the affidavit of National Police Officer Kasner Aldens, the document was a copy of a letter that Norleen Oliver DeOrio had sent to the President upon which President David Panuelo had written a note to the Secretary of the Department of Justice telling him that the FSM will proceed with the road project across Oliver’s land because the “land belonging to Trish/First Lady is landlocked.”

The letter and the hand written note are now a matter of public record since it is attached to a civil action against the government that Norleen Oliver DeOrio has filed against the government.

On the first charge, “obstructing administration of law or other government function”, the government says that because DeOrio allegedly removed the letter with the hand written note on it from the office of TC&I and shared it with his wife, his wife was able to use it to “institute an adverse action against the government.”  It says that her action directly interfered with the duty of TC&I to fully implement the “Sokehs Road Pavement Project”.  A person who is found to be guilty of this charge and be sentenced to imprisonment of no more than one year.

The second charge says that DeOrio should have known that divulging a “privileged government document” to another person whose interests are adverse to the Government would be considered to be a conflict of interest.  That crime is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years.

The third and fourth charges say that removing the document from TC&I amounted to “theft” and “unauthorized possession or removal of property”, both of which carry varying terms of punishment up to 10 years depending on the value of the item stolen or removed.  Theft of property or services of $5000 or more could garner the maximum sentence. The charges did not provide value of the letter with the hand written note.

The final charge, “deprivation of rights” also related to the alleged removal or sharing of the letter with the hand written note also carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Mark DeOrio is presumed to be innocent of all charges unless the court rules that he is guilty after a fair hearing.

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