GUAM ATTORNEY GENERAL CHARGED WITH SPOUSE ABUSE

admin's picture

By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Sept. 30) - Charges were filed in the Superior Court of Guam late yesterday afternoon against Attorney General Douglas Moylan in connection with alleged family violence incidents, according to court documents.

The island's first elected attorney general faces four charges of family violence as misdemeanors and two charges of false statement under oath as misdemeanors, court documents state.

Deborah Moylan accused Douglas Moylan of physically abusing her during their marriage, documents state. The attorney general and Deborah Moylan are going through divorce proceedings. Their divorce is not final.

Douglas Moylan also is accused of lying under oath during a court hearing last month. The false statement charges are partly based on testimony provided by Douglas Moylan's ex-wife, Doris Leon Guerrero. Leon Guerrero alleged she was abused by Douglas Moylan in 1992.

"The allegations are false. They distort the truth and are pure hearsay spanning a period of six months to 11 years," Douglas Moylan said yesterday.

Douglas Moylan late yesterday afternoon filed an ex-parte motion in the Superior Court to disqualify special prosecutor Paul Vernier and to dismiss the complaint. A hearing on the motion is scheduled to be held this morning before Superior Court Judge Katherine Maraman.

The attorney general said despite the charges, he would continue to work for the residents of Guam.

"Several persons have joined together in order to assassinate my character and the work I have begun at the AG's office, and I intend to continue despite these personal attacks upon me," Moylan said.

The case began when Douglas Moylan and his estranged wife, Deborah Moylan, filed domestic violence complaints against each other with the Guam Police Department July 22, citing alleged abuse during their marriage.

Deborah Moylan was arrested the following day, but was released from jail after no charges were filed. Douglas Moylan was not arrested.

Because the allegations involved the attorney general, Gov. Felix Camacho appointed attorney David Highsmith to look into the complaint filed against Deborah Moylan, while attorney Vernier was appointed to handle the complaint made against Douglas Moylan. As of yesterday,
charges have not been filed against Deborah Moylan.

In his complaint against Douglas Moylan, which was filed yesterday, Vernier wrote that he reviewed police reports and Deborah Moylan's declaration, and listened to the sworn testimony of the couple during a temporary restraining order hearing. Vernier said in a court document
that there is "probable cause to charge Douglas B. Moylan with family violence (as a misdemeanor) ... and false statement under oath."

But Douglas Moylan yesterday maintained that the allegations are false.

"This case involves two ex-wives who joined together and have active domestic cases seeking money through child support for the first wife, despite my maintaining joint custody, and a lucrative divorce settlement with the second wife," Douglas Moylan said.

Douglas Moylan yesterday also questioned the appointment of Vernier and Highsmith. He said only one prosecutor should have been assigned to tackle the complaints.

"The special prosecutor had no business accepting the appointment when the law prohibits his involvement in this matter," Douglas Moylan said.

In his motion to disqualify Vernier, Douglas Moylan wrote that a special prosecutor is ethically prohibited from representing criminal defendants.

The motion states Vernier and his law firm, Vernier and Maher LLP, has represented and is representing criminal defendants. Vernier represents about 33 criminal cases and other lawyers in his law firm represent about 101 criminal defendants with open cases, documents state.

"Numerous courts have concluded that an actual conflict of interest exists when a special prosecutor concurrently represents the people's interests and that of a criminal defendant's," documents state. "Further, the Guam Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers
and, separately, Guam statutory law expressly restricts special prosecutors to represent the people and not criminal defendants. The remedy is to disqualify the special prosecutor and to dismiss the complaint."

September 30, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment