Chuuk House of Representatives introduces resolution requesting Governor Elimo to step down

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

February 27, 2018

Chuuk—A resolution has been introduced in the Chuuk House of Representatives requesting Governor Johnson Elimo to step down from office.  The resolution was introduced during the special session of the House during the last full week of February.  At this point, the resolution has only just been introduced.  It will be taken up for consideration by the full House during its regular session in April.

The resolution outlines as it first reasons for the resolution, the recent Chuuk Supreme Court ruling finding Governor Elimo in civil and criminal contempt for disobeying the Court’s order to not interfere with the business activities of Chuuk Public Utilities Corporation.  It ruled that his appointment of an interim CPUC board by Executive Order was a clear violation of the Court’s order.

Governor Elimo has filed a motion requesting the Court to reconsider and set aside that decision.  During the hearing on that motion, which Ramp and Mida Law Firm opposed on behalf of the CPUC Board, the Governor’s attorney, Johnny Meippen recused himself from representing the Governor.  Since the Governor will have to hire a new lawyer to defend himself, the hearing on the motion was postponed.

“Governor Johnson Elimo either knew, or should have known, that his action on or about 18th January, 2018, in signing into effect an executive order put the position of the Governor as a leader, organizer, and instigator in the formulation and execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit fraud against the CPUC in supporting a $10 million guarantee for a loan to an unknown shell company registered in the Cayman Islands: Earth Energy International, Company, Limited,” the proposed resolution claimed.

The resolution later made the claim that “there is credible evidence from which to infer that, in his conduct while Governor of Chuuk, (the Governor) has unlawfully used State property in furtherance or concealment of (an) inappropriate relationship with a company and has made administrative decisions, based solely upon the furtherance of that inappropriate relationship.  Furthermore, the lack of the transparency of the company’s financial and compensation arrangement and status further demonstrate corrupt motives and suggest circumvention of state code of ethics or laws…”

The resolution does not ask for Lt. Governor Marius I. Akapito to step down but says that the memo Akapito wrote on behalf of Elimo requiring attendance of CPUC Board members at a meeting makes the Lt. Governor an accessory to the act of disobeying a lawful order of the Supreme Court.

Moving on to other House complaints against the Governor, the resolution claims that the Governor has continually failed to make reports to the Legislature regarding the reimbursement state of Local Revenue funds used to subsidize the federal programs, “in direct violation of every Appropriation Act passed by the Legislature during his terms of office, which require such reports to be made and sets deadlines for such reporting.”

The resolution claims that the Governor has failed to provide answers in writing to resolutions passed by the Chuuk State Legislature in violation of Article VI Section 4b of the Chuuk State Constitution.

It says that the Governor refused to report on the status of the funds designated based on a State of Emergency proclamation to repair the causeway in Mechitiw and Tunnuk Villages on Weno.

The resolution speaks of an action taken by the Land Commission that violates the Constitution that requires concurrence of at least four members to constitute action by the Commission.  It says that the Land Commission purportedly passed a regulation requiring only the Senior Land Commissioner and at least one other land commissioner to issue determination of ownership and Certificate of Title.  The resolution claims the action is a demonstration of the Governor’s inability to faithfully implement the Constitution.

The resolution also says that State Surveyors are charged with making accurate surveys as the Land Commission may direct without any mention of fees being charged to land owners for the surveys.  It says that many land owners have been complaining about State Surveyors charging fees to perform their duties.  The resolution says that is another example of the Governor neglecting his duties under the Constitution.

It says that the Governor has failed to properly account and report back to the Legislature the financial status and other reporting requirements under the Budget and Financial Laws of the State.

Though not giving any specifics, the resolution points to a Public Auditor’s report on Public Safety, Payroll, and Transportation as evidence of another failing of the Governor to “lead and manage the State and its expenses.

The resolution charges the Governor with willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, and failure to faithfully execute and implement the Constitution and all State laws.

The proposed resolution has not been adopted by the House of Representatives.  It has only just been submitted for consideration.

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