20 Feb 2014

Former CNMI AG escapes jail time

5:38 am on 20 February 2014

The former attorney general of the Northern Marianas Edward Buckingham has escaped jail time after Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo suspended his sentence of 3-and-half years in prison.

Buckingham was found guilty of seven charges yesterday in the territory's Superior Court. All the charges pertain to the violation of election laws.

Instead, Judge Govendo ordered Buckingham to pay a 14,000 US dollar fine and placed him on unsupervised probation.

He also prohibited the 65 year-old from employment with the CNMI government for 20 years.

The Office of the Public Auditor legal counsel George Hasselback recommended a sentence of one year in prison, without possibility of parole, and a fine.

Before he was sentenced, Buckingham made a brief statement to the court, in which he apologized for his conduct.