GUAM’S TOP COP IN SLAMMER FOR FRAUD

GUAM’S TOP COP IN SLAMMER FOR FRAUD

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 12) - The police department's highest-ranking uniformed officer was indicted yesterday after he allegedly completed his own performance evaluation report and signed it for the former police chief.

A Superior Court of Guam grand jury handed down an indictment against Guam Police Department commander Col. Joseph P. Mafnas. He was charged with two counts of forgery, tampering with public records, tampering with records to deceive, unsworn falsification and official misconduct, according to Prosecutor Bruce Bradley.

Mafnas yesterday appeared before Superior Court Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena, who set bail at $25,000 for his release. Mafnas was not able to make bail and was taken to the Department of Corrections in Mangilao where he was separated from other prisoners, Attorney General Douglas Moylan said. Mafnas' arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 19.

"We as law enforcement officials must hold ourselves just as accountable as those who we would accuse of crimes," Police Chief Earl Aguigui said yesterday at a joint press conference with the attorney general's office. "They have to be held to a higher standard, and that is the bottom line. You cross that line, there is absolutely, absolutely no discretion whatsoever."

Moylan said investigations into government corruption are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the attorney general's office.

"Stay tuned," Moylan said.

Last week, former Guam Mass Transit Authority Assistant General Manager Antonio "Tony" Diaz was indicted after he allegedly used a government-issued credit card for personal use, and racked up $10,000 in charges.

In July 2002, Mafnas allegedly signed for former Police Chief Ed Kabina on an evaluation form for himself, documents state. Kabina was on island at the time of the incident and did not authorize Mafnas to sign the form, Moylan said.

Mafnas also allegedly completed his own evaluation form by adding information and "unlawfully and intentionally" signing under Kabina's name, documents state.

If the discrepancy had not been caught by GPD's personnel division, Mafnas would have received an incremental raise in pay, Bradley said.

Aguigui said Kabina issued an adverse action against Mafnas after an internal investigation.

"What we are going to do now is go back to our Internal Affairs unit and see if there are any additional charges here that may lead to additional adverse action," Aguigui said.

Moylan said he gave "a lot of credit to the current chief of police who had to do a lot of soul searching" to decide to prosecute.

Mafnas joined the department in 1966 as a patrol officer and worked his way up the ranks, serving as police chief and deputy police chief in acting capacities, according to Pacific Daily News files.

In 1997, former Gov. Carl Gutierrez nominated Mafnas to be police chief. Senators rejected that nomination after polygraph results showed Mafnas lied about stealing, physically injuring people and using his influence to help police cadets pass training courses. Those incidents happened about 30 years ago, files state.

Mafnas was promoted last year to police commander, aiding in the daily operation of the department.

The police chief has not appointed a replacement for Mafnas.

"Right now, I'll be the chief, the police commander and everything else that is required to move the department along," Aguigui said.

Gov. Felix Camacho said in a press release he commends the police department for its continued efforts to hold its officers to the highest standards.

February 12, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com 

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