Court summons prospective jurors in trial of Rota mayor, girlfriend

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DISTRICT Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has authorized the clerk of court to summon 94 prospective jurors for the trial of Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig and his girlfriend and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig.

The prospective jurors were directed to appear in court on March 10, 2020 at 8 a.m.

The Ataligs are accused of orchestrating CNMI-government funded trips to California, Palau, Guam, and Saipan from February 2018 to Aug. 2018 under fraudulent pretenses.

Attorney David Banes represents Mayor Atalig, while Evelyn Atalig is represented by attorney Steven Pixley.

In CNMI Superior Court, the Commonwealth government initially charged Mayor Atalig and seven of his resident directors with theft and misconduct in public office.

The court later allowed the CNMI government to file a second amended information against the defendants on Aug. 30, 2019 that charged them each with misconduct in public office only.

The Rota officials are accused of taking government-funded per diem and salary compensation to attend a Republican Party campaign on Guam on June 23, 2018.

Their jury trial in Superior Court will start on March 30, 2020.

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