Recusal hearing today in case against Ataligs

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A HEARING in federal court will be held today, Monday, on whether Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona should recuse herself from the U.S. government’s case against Rota Mayor Atalig and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig who were both accused of corruption.

Ramona Villagomez Manglona

The hearing will start at 1:30 p.m.

It was disclosed at last week’s hearing that Judge Manglona’s sister-in-law, Sharon Manglona, is a possible material witness.

Sharon Manglona transmitted documents for the Rota Mayor’s Office. Her husband is the brother of CNMI Supreme Court Associate Justice John A. Manglona, the husband of Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.

At the hearing last week, Chief Judge Manglona brought the information to the attention of the defense counsel and the prosecutors following her review of documents submitted to the court.

Mayor Atalig and Evelyn Atalig were charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, theft from program receiving federal funds, and two counts of false statements.

They were accused of arranging CNMI-government-funded trips to California, Palau, Guam, and Saipan under fraudulent pretenses.

In Superior Court, Mayor Atalig and seven of his resident directors were accused of taking government- funded per diem and salary compensation to attend a Republican Party rally on Guam on June 23, 2018.

Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja has rescheduled the jury trial of the Rota officials from Jan. 13, 2020 to March 30, 2020.

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