Saipan – Sen. Juan Ayuyu is expected resign as senator in the next few days after pleading guilty Monday to smuggling endangered fruit bats and obstruction of justice.
The Saipan Tribune reports that Senate President Ralph Torres said a resignation letter from the Rota senator will be forthcoming.
He also asked the Senate legal counsel to look into whether Ayuyu’s guilty plea already constitutes a ground for termination or expulsion from the Senate.
Senate Vice President Victor Hocog, meanwhile, said it would be in everyone’s best interest for Ayuyu to resign instead. If he does not resign, Hocog said his Senate Committee on Rules and Procedures may recommend to the full Senate to expel or terminate him.
The 48-year-old Ayuyu’s term as senator ends in January 2015, way before the end of his possible prison term.
He is expected to receive a jail term between 33 months and 44 months under a plea agreement with the U.S. government. In exchange, the government will drop the remaining charges in the two cases and the entire information in the third case. Ayuyu will be sentenced on Nov. 8, 2013.