Senator Senior denies HOTL allegations
Claiming attempts to discredit her integrity
By: L.N. Reklai
June 6, 2016 (Ngerulmud) “It appears that the House of Traditional Leaders simply wishes to malign my name and through their letters have manifested their malicious intent to discredit my integrity,” claimed Senator Uduch Sengebau-Senior in her letter to Senate President Chin regarding statements made by the HOTL’s letter to him. [restrict]
Senator Senior in her letter rejects claim by HOTL that she had “voluntarily recused herself from participating due to her role as KSPLA legal representative” during the 2014 deliberations of Senate Bill 9-49, SD2, HD1, that seeks to amend deadline for filing of public land claims.
HOTL was wrong to claim that the deliberations took place in 2014 according to Senator Senior. She added that Senate record shows the bill was deliberated and adopted on 3rd reading on October 31, 2013. “At no time during the discussion and deliberation of Senate Bill 9-49 did I ever declare a conflict of interest and a recusal from voting on the matter”, stated Senior.
“I did not vote on the bill when it came up for 2nd reading because I was off-island,” asserted Senator Senior. It is “malicious for the HOTL to claim that I voluntarily recused myself because of my role as KSPLA legal representative…this is a false statement meant to disqualify me as chairperson of your JGA Committee,” added Senior in her letter.
Senator Joel Toribiong, in a separate letter to Senate President Camsek Chin, dated June 2, 2016, urged Senate President not to respond to similar letters from HOTL regarding this same subject. “The House of Traditional Leaders is clearly mistaken in their declaring Senator Senior’s conflict of interest. Under the rules and procedures of the Senate, only Senator Senior can stand and disclose her conflict of interest when voting on matter before the Senate,” stated Senator Toribiong.
House of Traditional Leaders of Koror State (HOTL) had written Senate President Camsek Chin asking him to do something about Senator Uduch Sengebau-Senior’s role as Chairman of Senate JGA Committee handling land cases, particularly the bill seeking to re-open claims for public lands. HOTL believes this is a wrong-doing on her part, a conflict of interest. Members of HOTL believe that Senator Senior’s previous roles as legal representative for Koror State Public Land Authority and as former Land Court judge create a conflict of interest with her current role as Chairman of Senate JGA Committee handling bills dealing with land issues. [/restrict]