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NEWS: Sen. Francisco Cruz maxes allowances in FY2019

(Editor's note: This is the fourth in an expose of the members of the Commonwealth Legislature, who have taken monthly allowances on top of their salaries)

CHAPTER 8: Francisco Cruz

By Jacob Nakamura

(Tumon, Guam) Republican Sen. Francisco Cruz of Tinian wasted no time taking the maximum legislative allowances for all of Fiscal Year 2019 once he was sworn into the Twenty first Commonwealth Legislature in January 2019.

Mr. Cruz wrote to then-Secretary of Finance Larissa Larson on January 15, 2019 requesting $5,000 per month every month from January to the end of the fiscal year - September 2019. That adds up to $45,000 in allowances on top of his legislative salary.

The allowances originally were meant for the cost of legislators from Tinian and Rota to function in both their home islands and in Saipan; however, Mr. Cruz has refused to disclose the receipts of his purchases.

This document is part of a stack Kandit received from the Department of Finance based on an Open Government Act request for its financial documents related to legislative allowances in calendar year 2019. No document exists for allowances for Mr. Cruz after Fiscal Year 2019.

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RE: Russ Mason

There is something that can be done, but unfortunately any lawyer that practices in the CNMI is probably afraid to take it on. I can think of many creative ways to bring the legal system to bare on these politicians and the local government (regardless if they claim immunity). Just because you claim immunity doesn't mean you are immune from the process. A lawsuit can shed light on things (using discovery) regardless of the final case outcome. The problem with the CNMI is that you have a caste system made up of a few select families that understand and use the system to their advantage, then you have the rest of the population that lives either in…


Once again, kudos to Kandit News for these revelations. Now we not only smell the rats, but we see what they have been up to. It's not pretty.

Trouble is, there is no legal redress for this outright theft. Even more egregious is that there are precious few honest politicians in office, and those who will eventually run for office are licking their chops at the lovely, free, money.

It would be refreshing if they were honest about their greed: "I am running for the senate because I want a free ride on the merry-go-round, and will promise anything to get it."

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