Former Ngarchelong State Governor Browny Salvador was pronounced guilty today of two of three counts in a criminal information (charging document) following a two-day trial held before the Honorable Oldiais Ngiraikelau that began on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Browny Salvador was convicted of Count One, a misdemeanor violation of the Code of Ethics, namely 33 PNC § 603, which states that “no employee may use national or state time, equipment, facilities, assets or property for political activities or other private activities that serve no governmental or public purpose.” The Court found the facts produced at trial proved that at the time of the bus crash, the bus previously donated to the Ngara Klikm women’s group in Ngarchelong, was a government-owned bus transporting individuals to the Governor’s own campaign rally.
The former Governor was also convicted of Count Three, Misconduct in Public Office, which states “(a) a person who, being a public official as defined in 33 PNC § 601, does any illegal acts under the color of office or who willfully neglects to perform the duties of his or her office as provided by law, shall be guilty of misconduct in public office.” Misconduct in Public Office is a felony punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison or by a fine of not more than $25,000, or both.
Browny Salvador was found not guilty of Count Two, Theft of Government Property in the First Degree because the Court held some doubt whether the former Governor intentionally or knowingly “embezzled, stole, purloined, converted, sold, conveyed or disposed” of $5,000 in government funds to pay for the settlement of a civil lawsuit against Ngarchelong State involving the crash of the bus that was transporting people to the Governor’s own campaign rally.
Sentencing is set in this matter for August 6, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. Following sentencing, the Defendant will have an opportunity to appeal the conviction and sentencing if he so chooses.
April Dawn Cripps, Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Palau, made the announcement and prosecuted the case with support from her investigators and Jacob Gordin, Assistant Special Prosecutor.