CNMI's Edwin Propst to run for US Congress

11:59 am on 12 February 2024
Edwin Propst

Edwin Propst, 5th from left. Photo: Supplied

The Commonwealth of Northern Marianas (CNMI) House of Representatives floor leader Edwin Propst has announced his intent to run as the territory's delegate in US Congress under the NMI Democratic Party banner.

Edwin Propst's announcement follows news that Gregorio Kilili Sablan, the CNMI's first and only delegate to the US Congress, will retire and not seek another term.

"These are hard times right now, but I can assure you we're going to do everything we can to make things better," he said during his remarks following the announcement of his candidacy to succeed incumbent Delegate Sablan.

"And I will do that in [Washington], I will be there for you," he said.

Propst is serving his fifth term in the CNMI House of Representatives, representing Precinct 1, where he has consistently emerged as top vote getter.

Propst said Sablan is irreplaceable and he always tried to help people and bring people up, and that's essentially how he wants to serve.

"He is somebody that regardless of who gets in, whether it's me or somebody else, I can assure you that to try to compare ourselves to somebody that served proudly 16 years is not going to be easy," he said.

Parole chief charged with theft, misconduct

Meanwhile, CNMI chief parole officer Nick Masga Reyes is facing theft by deception and misconduct in public office charges for using unpaid labor performed by parolees to build a patio project at the CNMI Parole Office.

The Office of the Attorney General charged Reyes with one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception, and two counts of theft by deception in relation to the authorization of funds for the patio construction.

Based on the information filed in court, Reyes and Fu agreed on 4 October 2022, to build a patio at the Parole Office that was to be built by a tailoring company owned by Fu, F&S Corp., in the amount of $9,997.80.

In reality, though, the patio was allegedly built using unpaid labor performed by parolees under the direction of Reyes.

This offense is punishable by imprisonment of not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $50,000.

The court said that Reyes obtained over $9,000 of CNMI funds by deception by creating or failing to correct the false impression that F&S Corp. would build a patio at the Office of Parole and authorising the expenditure of $9,987 to F&S Corp.

As for the other case filed against Reyes, he was charged with four counts of forgery and one count of misconduct in public office.

It is alleged that Reyes forged and altered on or about 20 December, 2023, the term of employment of a person from 30 days to one year.

This offense is punishable by imprisonment of not more than five years.