• Letter from Retiree re Michael Dotts Comments in Today’s MV

    Donna and others

    In general , I have a tendency to take the utterances of attorneys in private practice in the CNMI with a grain of salt. Many of their comments are totally self-serving or done merely to advance the cause of their clients. Isn’t this what they are paid to do , particularly given the absence of public relations firms in the CNMI?

    Michael Dotts’ comments in today’s MV (  http://mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/45652-dotts-settlement-favorable-to-retirement-fund.php  ) appear to be quite different. While I don’t know  exactly what type of “settlement” he prefers or the details of same, he expresses serious concerns regarding the creation of a holding company and sees the problems inherent in the appointment of a receiver by the Superior Court. I am really glad that someone as well respected in the community as Michael Dotts has come forward to express his concerns.

    The main thrust of the action filed by the Doe plaintiffs was to have the judgment awarded by Judge Govendo enforced by the Federal Court , assisted by the US Marshal and a receiver answerable to a Federal District Court Judge , if necessary. The problems associated with collection of damages  by the CNMI Superior Court were very well known, the major one being the defendant CNMI Executive Branch’s insistence that the Legislative Branch appropriate the funds needed to satisfy the judgment.

    I wonder if anyone understands why the idea of appointment of Senior Federal District Court Alex Munson to mediate has been rejected by one (and perhaps both) of the defendants in the federal district court case brought by the Doe plaintiffs! My guess is that the attorneys for the NMIRF are against it because it would limit the amount of  attorneys fees which stand to be generated by the present course of action. The holding company may just be another source of revenue for attorneys advising the Board of Trustees. Without any justification for the creation of such an entity by the NMIRF, am I wrong to be so suspicious?

    In my opinion , the actions taken by the NMIRF result from the recommendations of the private attorneys retained by the Board of Trustees. They control the flow of information to the decision makers and , if anyone doubts this assertion, he or she should  look at the lack of results beneficial to retirees and active members since Judge Govendo issued his decision over two and one half years ago. I really don’t blame the individual trustees as they can only act based on the information provided by their senior staff and well compensated consultants.(Is this yet another example of the Mushroom Theory* of leadership in action?)

    Your comments are most appreciated.

    David Price



    *Mushroom Management Theory: Keep employees in the dark and fearful, feed them manure and dung, watch them grow and when they grow enough, get them canned.

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