Imperial Pacific Boss Out Following Threats to Reveal Politicians’ Secrets

Posted on: February 8, 2022, 08:46h. 

Last updated on: February 8, 2022, 11:35h.

Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has lost another CEO. The casino operator behind the Imperial Palace in Saipan is parting ways with Ray Yumul following his resignation.

Ray Yumul
Ray Yumul, former CEO of Imperial Pacific International, addresses the CCC. A recent outburst forced him to resign his position. (Image: Marianas Variety)

Ray Yumul recently dug his own grave. The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has been reviewing IPI’s activity and discussing its ability to hold a casino license. The Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) recently brought the subject up again, indicating that a decision is likely next month.

This didn’t sit well with Yumul, the interim CEO of the inept casino operator behind the Imperial Palace in Saipan. At the meeting, he blurted out that he would share politicians’ dirty secrets if the license was permanently revoked. He also reportedly told the CCC to “go to Hell.”

CNMI Out of Patience

CNMI lawmakers weren’t amused by the glib response. Either by choice or by suggestion, Yumul, a former CNMI Senator, has decided to distance himself from the situation. The Saipan Tribune reports that he authored a letter to IPI’s HR department soon after, announcing his resignation. He officially stepped down as of November 1.

Yumul was on the job for a year. He took over for Donald Browne, who was forced into the role and who lasted only for about the same amount of time. When he left, Browne returned to his previous role, which was in security and surveillance.

There was a good chance Yumul would have never become IPI’s permanent CEO. The executive director of the CCC, Andrew Yeom, confirmed to the Saipan Tribune that the commission never signed off on the application of his appointment.

There has been talk about IPI losing its monopoly in Saipan. However, Yeom asserted in January that revoking its status might be unconstitutional. Next month’s meeting will help clear the air on IPI’s future.

New Lawsuit Against IPI Emerges

In typical IPI fashion, the company is facing yet another lawsuit. Like others, this one also involves a former employee and the treatment the company afforded him.

Rongkun Xiao is a US citizen who lives in Saipan. IPI hired him to work as a construction engineer. However, two years after he began, he suffered a workplace accident. He suffered severe injuries to his spine on the job, leaving him paralyzed for life.

He is only able to move around with the assistance of a wheelchair. However, his lawsuit states that he would have still been able to perform the duties and responsibilities associated with his position. The only thing he needed was for IPI to provide certain workplace accommodations. The lawsuit didn’t provide additional details about the requests.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Xiao can claim compensation. IPI’s stance on the matter, however, was to try to offer him a “demotion” and a salary that was less than half of what he previously made. It was a take-it-or-leave-it offer.

Xiao left it, and IPI fired him. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission authorized his right to sue IPI last November. This was only after Xiao tried several avenues to find redress directly through IPI, according to his lawsuit.

The former employee is asking for full back pay, benefits, and reinstatement to his former position. He stands a good chance of winning his lawsuit, but not of collecting. IPI owes $25 million to the CNMI, as well as millions more to former employees and construction contractors. Given its track record of non-payment, Xiao has better odds of winning the lottery.