GUAM PARKS OFFICIAL INDICTED

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By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Sept. 26) - A former
Department of Parks and Recreation assistant administrator was indicted
yesterday on charges he took thousands of dollars in government funds and
transferred them into the department's employees association account.

Franklin E. Herrero, 45, faces felony charges of theft of
property held in trust and misdemeanor charges of misapplication of entrusted
funds and official misconduct, according to the indictment.

Between March and August 2000, Herrero is accused of having
taken $4,400 of government funds, which should have been deposited into the
department's revolving fund, and instead deposited the money into the employee's
association account. At the time of the alleged incidents, Herrero was the
assistant recreation administrator.

"It was put into the association fund and there is some
information that Mr. Herrero was being paid out of that fund," Attorney
General Douglas Moylan said during a press conference yesterday.

An arrest warrant for Herrero was issued yesterday by Superior
Court of Guam Judge Katherine Maraman in the amount of $10,000, Moylan said.

Assistant Attorney General James Casey, who is prosecuting the
case, said there were several disbursements made from the employee's association
fund. He said they are looking into whether Herrero's wife and daughter, and
other employees, received money from the fund.

"It is still an open investigation," Moylan said.

Herrero was in charge of issuing water recreation permits and
other permits, according to Pacific Daily News files. The recreation
administrator is responsible for issuing permits but the agency did not have an
administrator, leaving the job to Herrero, files state.

In March 2000, Herrero "did obtain property belonging to
the department's revolving fund, specifically $3,200" that was paid for the
use of recreational facilities, according to court documents. In August 2000,
Herrero received another check in the amount of $1,200 that was also for a
permit.

Herrero is accused of mishandling permit fees for recreation
programs by depositing the funds into the agency's employees association, a
nonprofit group created in 1985. The public auditor's office investigated the
matter and, in a report released in November 2001, recommended the attorney
general's office look into her office's findings.

Herrero was relieved of his responsibilities of issuing permits
after the allegations surfaced. He retired in August 2001.

"We want to emphasize that our government corruption work
is continuing, and that those tasked to handling federal funds are to be held
fully responsible for their accounting and disposition of the funds,"
Moylan said.

September 26, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

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