A recent and high-ranking member of the Torres family publicly said her former brother-in-law’s administration is laden with nepotism, abuse of power, cabinet members who come to work high on drugs, political hires unqualified for the jobs they have, illegal expediting processes, and the “unwarranted use of funds.”
“I didn’t sign up for this,” Rowina Ogo, the former wife of Gov. Ralph Torres’s oldest brother, Vince Torres, said in a half-hour expose on her knowledge of the corruption and malfeasance of the Torres administration.
Ms. Ogo lamented the treatment of workers and family members by those she identified only as the “giants and elves” within the Torres administration, whom she claimed had led the governor astray. Asked whether she could identify those ‘giants and elves,’ and those who had misused public funds and went to work high on narcotics, Ms. Ogo responded she could not on the advice of her attorney.
The former in-law was ever present and instrumental throughout Ralph Torres’s political career and his administration. She had been a vocal advocate for Mr. Torres, and arguably his most vehement defender, speaking up for him even while Torres’s wife, Diann, did not.
That support seemed to end last month, following the resignation of her friend, Priscilla Iakapo, as executive director of the Marianas Visitors Authority. Ms. Iakapo’s resignation came in protest of the treatment of her husband, Stanley Iakapo. Mr. Iakapo resigned as the Commonwealth’s top veterans official following two incidents: 1) comments by the deputy secretary of U.S. Veterans Affairs of his disappointment in Gov. Torres’s lack of knowledge of veterans issues; and 2) the governor’s disapproval of military leave for Mr. Iakapo.
Ms. Iakapo’s resignation triggered Ms. Ogo to abolish her Legacy 5X group, which she organized in support of the governor, and led to a string of public commentary she made that seemed to implicate everyone from the governor’s chief of staff, Wil Castro, to her ex-brother-in-law Joaquin “Jack” Torres in alleged misconduct.
“You are surrounded by hungry sharks,” Ms. Ogo directed at Gov. Torres in her October 28 expose. She did not elaborate, but to say that they are driven “by the elves that define and create corruption in your administration.”
At the end of her speech, Ms. Ogo asked the Commonwealth’s voters to “Follow your true feelings and not your influence,” after discussing the culture of fear and intimidation that has pervaded the Torres administration.
“Only you see what you mark on the ballot,” she said.