4 Sep 2014

CNMI govt disputes court ruling on utility debt

8:15 pm on 4 September 2014

The Northern Marianas government is weighing up its options after a judge found that it could be sued for unpaid bills by the state utilities company.

The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation launched legal action last year to collect what it says are millions of dollars worth of debts. The government had countered that CUC was part of the state so it wasn't possible to sue them.

A Superior Court judge has now ordered on the side of CUC.

The Assistant Attorney-General David Lochabay says he strongly disagrees with the decision

"The corporation had relied on the central government for many times in the past for assistance when the corporation didn't have any money. And over the past few years the corporation had in fact been directly controlled by the central government under a series of emergency decrees."

Mr Lochabay disputes CUC claims that unpaid bills could total 20 million dollars.