Yap governor summoned to impeachment hearing

Senators question the timing of AGO’s reopening

Yap.Gov. Henry Falan

By Joyce McClure

Yap senators have summoned Gov. Henry Falan to appear before the Yap Legislature for the committee of the whole’s Oct. 15 hearing that will begin their drive to impeach the state’s chief executive.

On Sept. 23, seven senators of the 10-member Yap Legislature signed a resolution, seeking to remove Falan from office on charges of “misfeasance and malfeasance” that stemmed from his Sept. 16 move to shut down the Office of the Attorney General.

Article 5 Sec. 20 of the Yap State Constitution requires that three-fourths of the members must vote to oust the governor.

Falan will be represented by Marstella Jack, an attorney from Pohnpei.

“The governor’s duty is to faithfully execute the law which does not provide for the closure of the office unless the relevant provisions of the act are effectively amended by law. There are no current laws (or amendments) that provide for the closure of the office,” the resolution reads.

“The closure of the Office of the Attorney General substantially affects the successful performance of the duties of the Office of the Governor.”

The resolution states that Falan “gravely endangered and threatened the integrity of the democratic system of the government of the State of Yap,” and that his action “warrants removal from office for misfeasance and malfeasance in office.”

Falan agreed that the action does seriously affect the executive branch, but his action in issuing the order, he said, was unavoidable due in part to the lack of approval and authorization by the legislature for supplemental funds that he had requested in March to pay the salaries of the state’s two attorneys general.

As stated in Falan’s Sept. 16 executive order, the legislature “removed the budget for all vacancies in fiscal year (FY) 2021 with