The 20th Olbiil era Ngeaur (Angaur State Legislature) and its individual members—Leon Gulibert, Jackson Henry, Carlos Ramon, Lorenso Edward, Recheos Naruo, Elizabeth Isamu, Stacy Augustin, Audry Rafael, and Gene Larson—have been sued in Palau Supreme Court for alleged violations of Angaur State Constitution.
The civil case filed by Angaur citizen Natus Misech seeks for removal of Legislator Leon Gulibert from Angaur Legislature for alleged violation of Angaur State Constitution Section 3, Article VIII, which sets qualifications for members of OEN.
The suit claims that Gulibert, while a legislator, was convicted of a felony in criminal case No. 20-120 and served 6 months in jail, paid fines of $28,000, and is on probation for 7 years. The suit asserts that he is in violation of Section 3 of the Angaur Constitution, which states in part that a qualified member of the legislature “is not serving a court sentence for felony”.
The lawsuit says that defendant Leon Gulibert is “disqualified to serve as a member of OEN” due to his conviction in July 2021.
Legislators Lorenso Edward and Recheo Naruo, by virtue of their traditional chief titles, are also sued for violation of the same Article VIII, Section 3 of the Angaur Constitution stating that “Each member of the Olbiil Era Ngeaur shall physically reside within the state of Angaur while in office.” The suit claims that these legislators do not reside within the Angaur State and should be disqualified for office.
The legislative body, Olbiil Era Ngeaur, is also a defendant in the suit for allegedly failing to uphold their constitutional obligation by allowing a “convicted felon and two non-residents to continue to serve in the 20th OEN in direct violations of the Angaur State Constitution.”
The plaintiff calls on the court to declare Gulibert disqualified to serve as a member of OEN and return the public funds he has been receiving since his July 2021 conviction, as well as order the defendants to enact legislation declaring Gulibert’s seat vacant.
The court is urged to order defendants Naruo and Edward to comply with the residency requirement of the Angaur Constitution or “vacate their seats”.
The suit says that the defendants should pay for “aiding and abetting of the unconstitutional acts of [the] defendants”.