Koror, Palau – Following a two-day trial of Co-Defendant, Joleen Ngoriakl (Ngoriakl), Chief of Staff for former Koror State Governor Franco Gibbons, was convicted on October 6, 2022, by Presiding Justice Kathleen M. Salii of two violations of the Code of Ethics. Ngoriakl’s first conviction included Count 4, in violation of 33 PNC § 603, by use of government property for private activities that serve no governmental purpose through renovation of her family home or improvements to her personal residence in Nandeng, Ngerkesoal Hamlet, Koror, Palau. Ngoriakl’s second conviction included Count 6 in violation of 33 PNC § 604 by using her official position to secure privileges, exemptions, advantages, or treatment for herself through renovation of the aforementioned property. These convictions are misdemeanors, which include up to a $10,000 fine for each violation, in addition to other penalties imposed by law.
The Trial Division found the Republic failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ngoriakl committed Theft in the First Degree (Count 8), as charged in the Information, in violation of 17 PNC § 2615.
The Trial Division also found the Republic failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ngoriakl committed Tampering with a Government Record (Count 9), as charged in the Information, in violation of 17 PNC § 3914.
The case is set for sentencing on November 14, 2022, in Koror, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 101 of the Palau Supreme Court. Co-Defendant Franco Gibbons will be tried before Presiding Justice Salii commencing October 31, 2022.
April Dawn Cripps, Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Palau, prosecuted the case.
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