On June 24, Former Ngarchelong State Governor Browny Salvador was convicted on two counts of misconduct, after allegedly using government funds to pay for a bus that crashed on the way to his own campaign rally. The two charges, one a misdemeanor and the other a class B felony, could carry a combined 11-year prison sentence and a fee of up to $35,000.
The two-day Supreme Court trial, held before the Honorable Oldiais Ngiraikelau, resulted in the former governor being found guilty of using state property for activities that serve no government use and of performing illegal acts while serving in office, and being found not guilty on the charge of theft of government property in the first degree.
The charges related to the NgaraKlikm bus, a vehicle that crashed in August 2014 while carrying people to Governor Salvador’s political campaign rally in Koror’s Sunset Park. The government-owned bus had previously been donated to the NgaraKlikm women’s group in Ngarchelong.
In August 2017, Former Governor Salvador settled a civil lawsuit against Ngarchelong State, in which he reportedly used $5,000 in government funds to pay for the bus crash. However, the Court found him not guilty of the charge of theft of government property, due to some doubt as to whether the former governor had knowingly “embezzled” government funds.
Sentencing is set for August 6, 2020. Afterwards, the former governor will have the opportunity to appeal the conviction and sentencing.