MYSTERY SUBPOENAS RATTLE GUAM GOVERNMENT

By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 9) - Attorney General Douglas Moylan has subpoenaed officials of Gov. Felix Camacho's administration to appear in the Superior Court of Guam today to testify and provide documentation at an unspecified court proceeding.

Few details of the subpoenas, or the hearing itself, have been released, and Camacho issued a written statement yesterday voicing concern.

"I am concerned with the highly suspect timing and nature of the attorney general's subpoenas," the governor said.

The governor said the subpoenas were issued on Dec. 5, the day after a special prosecutor filed court papers which, Camacho added, "raised the specter of obstruction of justice." Attorney Louis Yanza had filed the motion on behalf of Special Prosecutor Paul Vernier.

Camacho said in an interview Friday night that Moylan had offered to drop the attorney general's opposition to the governor's proposed $418 million bond borrowing plan in exchange for the governor's dismissal of Vernier. Vernier has filed a family violence-related criminal case against Moylan.

The attorney general said the governor is "overreacting" to the subpoenas. He said he is not intentionally targeting Camacho's office.

"I cannot stop my duty to investigate wrongdoing regardless whether it is the past administration or the current administration," said Moylan, the island's first elected attorney general. Previous attorneys general on Guam were selected by the governor.

Moylan said it is the first time an attorney general has investigated a current administration.

"I think he feels threatened because it is hitting close to home."

The release did not list who was subpoenaed and Moylan said he could not give specifics on the subpoenas.

Moylan said since he took office, he has been working to investigate and prosecute white-collar cases. Moylan said the allegation that the subpoenas were in reaction to what is occurring with his criminal case is completely false.

"He is attributing things to me and apparently criticizing me because I am investigating his administration. But that is exactly what this office was designed to do," Moylan said.

Moylan said the integrity of the investigation will be maintained, and he will not be deterred from continuing to protect the public from corruption.

"We haven't hit an indictment on the governor's office. This is just an investigation that is ongoing. I will not speak to when it first started. I think the governor is just shooting in the dark when he says it was just started in reaction to Mr. Yanza's situation," Moylan said.

The dispute between the two elected officials has been brewing for the past few months and heightened last week by Camacho's publicly stated allegation that Moylan tried to cut a deal.

Moylan has denied the allegations and said his office's current investigations of the administration and the judiciary provoked the governor into making statements against him.

Camacho's written statement yesterday said as officials of his administration are expected to answer questions under the subpoena today, the day also is the eve of the attorney general's scheduled arraignment in his family violence-related criminal case.

"It is consistent with the attorney general's past practice of announcing investigations and other media attempts to divert public attention from his own personal criminal case," Camacho said.

Camacho said he expects the members of his administration to "speak truthfully" at all times during the proceedings.

"I expect all members of my administration to comply fully with any requests made by the attorney general's office," Camacho said. "However, I am also considering requesting that the attorney general remove himself directly from any investigation on the governor's office and the judiciary, given the potential conflict that may arise."

Moylan's request to remove Vernier also stems from concerns in regards to a conflict of interest. Moylan has said that the special prosecutor represents more than 100 criminal defendants the attorney general's office is prosecuting.

After a press conference yesterday morning, Camacho also said he is considering filing an ethics complaint with the Guam Bar Association against the attorney general. Camacho said he also would like the Legislature to define the powers of the attorney general.

"Our legal team will be looking at the actions of the attorney general during his tenure over the last 10 months and really do a thorough analysis of his actions and his behavior," Camacho said. "So we will decide that very shortly."

Governor's spokesman Shawn Gumataotao said the legal team consists of attorneys Shannon Taitano and Rodney Jacob.

December 9, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

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