THE Commonwealth Casino Commission reiterated on Wednesday that Imperial Pacific International’s newly hired chief executive officer, Ray N. Yumul, has no legal representation in official meetings because he has no casino key employee license.
IPI hired the former senator as its new CEO last month.
During the commission’s meeting on Wednesday, Yumul, who could only speak in the public comments portion of the meeting, said he has applied for the license but “the application is pending, and, that is rightfully so.”
The legality of Yumul’s representation was raised after Casino Commission Executive Director Andrew Yeom reported to the commission that Yumul is applying for a “temporary license” and not for a conventional “provisional key employee license.”
If acknowledged and approved, Yeom said the temporary license will be good for 90 days with a possible 90-day extension.
That, he said, “may work out well” as it will give the commission enough time to vet Yumul’s application for a regular license while the applicant can legally “carry on his duty until such time as an official decision on his regular casino key employee license is rendered by the commission.”
But according to the commission’s legal counsel, Assistant Attorney General Mike Ernest, it is the Office of the AG’s opinion that “there is no application for license that is pending before the commission.”
He said the applicant for a casino key employee license should not be Yumul himself. Although Yumul would be the beneficiary of the license, the regulations clearly state that the applicant should be IPI, not the person, Ernest added.
He said the regulations also require that in order to obtain a temporary license, IPI must submit an application package containing “a minimum of five things which include questionnaires, fingerprints, and all fees for the application.”
And since the applicant, which is IPI, has not paid its fee, Ernest said “there has been no application for license submitted.”
Right now, he added, based on the regulations, it is a violation to have a casino key employee who is not licensed.
Although IPI has submitted documents, those documents do not comprise what is supposed to be contained in the application package, Ernest said.
For his part, Commonwealth Commission Chairman Edward C. Deleon Guerrero said if the application itself is incomplete, then it is not considered submitted.
Yumul told the commissioners that he knows IPI has not made any payment for the $3.15 million regulatory fee due last year. But he added that IPI is not ignoring the commission.
He said he also recognizes that payment for the regulatory fee is required in order for the commission to vet him just like any other vendor or casino key employee.
“I came on board because both the U.S. District Court and the Commonwealth Superior Court required a ‘person of authority,’ and unfortunately, IPI’s focus at the time of my hiring was with the U.S. District and Superior Courts, and the back wages, for example, that it has to pay by this Friday or else a receiver will be ordered to liquidate the assets of IPI, to satisfy the U.S. Department of Labor case,” Yumul said.