Former governor Ellender Ngirameketii was arrested last Thursday after failing to show up to his sentencing hearing on December 1st. A bench warrant was issued, revoked his release on his own recognizance, and ordered his arrest.

Court filings show that two private attorneys filed on behalf of Ngirameketii on December 2nd, seeking that the bench warrant is set aside and the defendant be released.  In the filing, it claims that the defendant was under the impression the sentencing was for the following Monday, December 8, not December 1st.  He also claims no reminders were sent to the defendant regarding the sentencing date.

The request by the defendant’s counsel to set aside the bench warrant was denied on Friday, December 2, causing the defendant to remain in custody over the weekend until Monday, December 5th, when the sentencing occurred.

In the sentencing, the court ordered the 5 days Ngirameketii served in jail as time served, meaning that the time he did to date fulfills his imprisonment terms, and therefore, he was released.  He was fined 30,000 dollars and will be on supervised probation until he pays the fine off, and after that, it will be unsupervised probation.

“We asked for a year in jail because the four counts in this case were two more years wherein he falsely filed Financial Disclosure Statements (in 2020 and 2021), and was not truthful to the Ethics Commission regarding disclosure of what he earned, and these crimes were committed while the other cases involving the prior years were pending, i.e., cases 19-097 and 19-118.,” explained Special Prosecutor Dawn-Cripps.

In October 2022, former governor Ngirameketii pled guilty to two Misconducts in Public Office, felony counts, and two misdemeanors on Code of Ethics violations.

The sentencing was for the two felony and misdemeanor violations Ngirameketii pled guilty to. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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