IPI complies with court order in lawsuit filed by former employee

A former IPI employee sued IPI for discrimination.
A former IPI employee sued IPI for discrimination.

IPI has finally complied with a federal court order and made payments for a lawsuit filed by a former IPI employee who alleged discrimination.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Imperial Pacific International has paid sanctions imposed by the federal court in a lawsuit brought by a former IPI employee alleging discrimination. The compliance means it avoids the imprisonment of officials.

Former IPI’s employee, Joshua Gray had sued the company for sexual harassment. Gray’s lawyer, William Fitzgerald, notified the court that as of yesterday, IPI had paid Gray’s lawyer’s fees and expenses of US$19,616.25 in full, thus clearing its charge of contempt. IPI’s lawyer Stephen Nutting said the payment was made before the deadline.

IPI made the first payment after the performance reasons hearing on October 7, when the court initially reconfirmed it was in contempt of court. 

IPI’s second payment was issued on October 11, amounting to US$13,000, fully paying for the sanctions imposed by the court to lift the contempt order against the casino operator.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona of the District Court for the NMI had stated in a written order that if the casino operator failed to comply with the fee order, officials could be subject to severe sanctions including “incarceration of three days until the contempt is cured.”

IPI casino licence fee available for appropriation

In a letter sent to the Legislature, Governor Ralph DLG Torres has stated that the remaining US$8m of the US$15m annual licence fee that Imperial International paid before the Covid-19 pandemic is now available.

Of the amount now available for appropriation, Torres said U$6m will be for Saipan, US$1m will be for Tinian and US$1mwill be for Rota. 

Torres stated: “I hope that these funds will be used for the purposes of enhancing the missions and goals of Northern Marianas College as part of our Commonwealth’s efforts to build our local workforce.”

IPI has seen its gaming licence suspended indefinitely after it failed to comply with regulatory orders. The company violated five orders including a failure to pay its US$3.1m annual regulatory fee in 2020 and failure to comply with an order to settle debts with vendors.

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