28 Oct 2010

Speaker of House in CNMI denies allegations surrounding casino bill

12:06 pm on 28 October 2010

The speaker of the Northern Marianas House of Representatives, Froilan Tenorio, has denied he offered a senator a deal over controversial casino legislation.

But Mr Tenorio has admitted to an agreement with another lawmaker over supporting the Saipan casino bill.

Mr Tenorio, who's a former governor, says he offered representative, Teresita Santos, a deal to provide 1.8 million US dollars for the Rota Casino Gaming Commission if she helped convince Rota's senators to pass the contentious measure.

But Ms Santos has called this claim misleading and inaccurate.

Mr Tenorio, meanwhile, has denied an allegation he offered a deal to senator Pete Rejes and his wife, to try and secure their support for the bill.

The senate rejected Mr Tenorio's Saipan casino bill during a session on Tinian in September.

Casinos are legal on Tinian and Rota, while Saipan is only allowed to operate poker machines.