By Johnnie Rosario
It is a sad day for social, criminal, and political justice in the Mariana Islands.
Congressman Ed Propst, the fierce leader of the opposition party to the corruption of the Torres administration, has resigned from the CNMI House of Representatives.
In a letter to Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao today, Mr. Propst said his last day in office will be October 1, 2020. "After a long discussion over the weekend with my wife Daisy, and our children, and some close family and friends, I have decided to resign from office."
His resignation follows unsubstantiated accusations by a known political operative of Gov. Ralph Torres's administration - Irene Holl - that Mr. Propst made unwanted sexual advances against students when he was a teacher years ago.
The Torres administration quickly called for investigations as the election season inches toward the November 3 election, and in the midst of legislative investigations into the corruption of the governor and his family. Mr. Propst has often been the governor's loudest critic. The accusations against him are widely seen as a blatant attempt by the administration to take out one of its strongest adversaries.
"This job can be extremely stressful, and the attacks and cyber bullying seem to only worsen with each passing day," Mr. Propst wrote in his letter to Mr. Attao. "It can break a person down emotionally, mentally, and physically. Everyone has their limits, and I feel I have reached mine."
Mr. Propst memorialized in his resignation letter his appreciation for the voters and those who have helped him throughout his tenure.
"To our beloved Precinct One family, thank you for giving me the honor to serve you over the course of these three terms. I love you all and thank you for so kindly welcoming us into your homes and hearts. I am forever indebted to my staff, Vince Camacho and Sal Limes, and our Minority Team, who have done a magnificent job in serving our people. I am grateful for the strong friendships I have made with all my colleagues in the House and Senate and their staff, and the hardworking, always dependable Legislative Bureau staff. With Love and Gratitude, Ed Propst."