Pohnpei accuses former Sokehs employees of theft of over $7000
- Category: News
- Published: Monday, 18 September 2017 09:50
- Written by Bill Jaynes
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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 8, 2017
Sokehs, Pohnpei—The Kaselehlie Press only just recently received a copy of a criminal information filed on May 30, 2017 against three former employees of the Sokehs Municipal Government. The State has charged Merlina Linos, Albertina Smith, and Leilani Ramsin 22 separate crimes related to the alleged theft of over $7000—money belonging to Sokehs Municipal government.
The Pohnpei Office of the Public Auditor (OPA) had previously conducted surprise cash counts at Sokehs Municipal government that had uncovered missing funds but the inspection last January was the first that lead to criminal charges. OPA said that while the inspection was being carried out, one of the defendants left island and while the matter was being investigated by the Compliance Investigation Division, another of the defendants left Pohnpei. Before criminal charges were filed there was no legal reason for the pair to have been barred from traveling.
Though by the time charges were able to be filed the two named defendants had left the island, those charges will be waiting for them if they choose to return to Pohnpei.
The discovery of the missing money once again sent shock waves through the Sokehs Municipal Government. Chief Magistrate Michael Liemen narrowly avoided impeachment over the matter when the vote of the Sokehs Council came short of the number required to pass a resolution of impeachment.
As in any and all criminal cases, defendants are presumed to be innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law. The trial has not yet begun for the one defendant who is still on the island.