Following the postponement of the Island Paradise Resort Club (IPRC) property auction, the Koror Ngarametal Association was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) close to $10 thousand for the costs of guarding the resort.

The Motion for Fees and Costs was filed by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on April 10, 2020, and invoked the overtime pay of over 20 officers employed by the BPS to guard the IPRC during the extended auction, in the period between March 6 and March 18, when the officers were pulled off the project.

The officers were patrolling the premises at the request of the Ngarametal Association’s Attorney, Mr. James Kennedy, and were supposed to be paid from the profits of the property sale. However, since the sale never took place, the officers were never paid.

The Supreme Court granted the motion on September 4, requiring the Ngarametal Association to cover the total of $9,992.22 in wages to the patrol officers by no later than October 4.

The auction was set to take place in March of this year, following the seizure of IPRC’s property and buildings by the BPS to satisfy the resort’s judgment of debt to the Ngarametal Association. The seizure took place after a civil lawsuit awarded the Ngarametal Association $2,079,342.73 in damages from the IPRC, for lost rent and compensation for the Bai-ra-Metal, a building which burned down during the resort’s construction in 2010. The property auction was eventually indefinitely postponed, due to an appeal of the lawsuit filed by IPRC.

According to the Motion for Fees and Costs, Mr. Kennedy “stated that his clients would pay the officers for their time spent guarding the property”. The Motion also states that “the BPS can no longer rely on the proceeds of the auction to pay its fees”, with the “substantial possibility that the auction may not occur at all; if, for example, the Defendant wins the appeal, or if the case is settled”.

The motion was granted by Kathleen M. Salii, newly-appointed Presiding Justice of the Palau Supreme Court.

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