GUAM GRAND JURY PROBES GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 10) - Numerous documents concerning the lease between the governor's office and the Pacific News Building's owner were subpoenaed and delivered to the attorney general's office yesterday for a grand jury proceeding.

Two staff members from Camacho's office -- certifying officer Gloria Perez and Guam Recovery Office Manager Dale Peterson -- also were subpoenaed to appear in court but they did not testify during yesterday's proceedings.

The governor's public disclosure of the subpoenaed documents and names of officials subpoenaed were the latest in a series of twists since Camacho on Friday night accused Attorney General Douglas Moylan of trying to cut a deal.

The governor said in an interview Friday that Moylan, the island's first elected attorney general, had offered to lift his opposition to the governor's $418 million bond plan in exchange for the dismissal of a special prosecutor who filed a family-violence-related criminal case against Moylan. Moylan has denied the governor's allegation.

Also on Friday, the attorney general issued subpoenas to Perez and Peterson, and requested information regarding the rent of the governor's office, governor's legal counsel Shannon Taitano said during a press conference late yesterday afternoon.

During the press conference, the governor's office released copies of such documents as contracts, leases, amendments and executive orders that were subpoenaed. The governor was not at the press conference.

Under the lease agreement, the governor's office and other local government agencies have occupied office spaces at the building, owned by DNA Inc., at a cost of $52,800 a month, the subpoenaed documents show.

The building is owned by attorney David Lujan, who also owns the Corn Building in Anigua, which was used by Gov. Felix Camacho as his campaign headquarters for last year's elections, Pacific Daily News files state. Lujan also served as co-chairman of the governor's transition committee, Pacific Daily News files state.

"I'm not certain what this investigation is about. All I know is the subpoena requested for those documents and we complied," Taitano said yesterday. "I can't speak as to why (Moylan) is conducting this investigation."

Taitano said she was not aware of any other investigations or subpoenas concerning the governor's office.

She also did not know if any other government officials appeared for the grand jury proceeding.

Acting Deputy Attorney General James Casey did not comment on specifics concerning the subpoenas, but said even though people are subpoenaed, it does not necessarily mean that they are the ones under investigation.

"It is an ongoing investigation, and by definition, grand jury proceedings are clandestine," Casey said. "I need to be close-mouthed."

When Supertyphoon Pongsona struck Guam on Dec. 8, 2002, it battered the governor's complex in Adelup. After the governor took office in January, the governor's office and other agencies that were in Adelup occupied the Pacific News Building in Hagåtña.

The executive branch is paying $2.20 per square foot per month for 24,000 square feet of office space, Pacific Daily News files state. The governor's office said at the time that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse 75 percent of the lease cost.

"The first lease agreement was done through an emergency procurement. What the emergency procurement allows is for three solicitations be made and based on that. the Pacific News Building was the lowest bidder and the records will reflect that," Taitano said.

The governor's office considered three other sites -- the Bank of Guam, GCIC and the Bank of Hawaii.

Taitano said all actions taken by the administration on the rent of the office space have followed all emergency procurement and other procurement regulations.

"The governor expects his staff to cooperate fully in any matters requested by the office of the attorney general. However, he will not allow the integrity of this office or those who work in his office to be questioned based on unfounded speculation," Taitano said.

"Nor will the governor allow the attorney general to distort the facts in this manner in an attempt to seek retribution of private citizens."

The lease agreement at the Pacific News Building expires later this month, governor's spokesman Shawn Gumataotao said. He said the governor's office has requested an extension of FEMA's reimbursement. The governor's office will put the lease up for bid again, he said.

Taitano said the governor is fully aware of the authority of the attorney general to investigate matters regarding the government.

"What we question is the motive and timing of the attorney general in investigating this matter," Taitano said.

The subpoenas were issued on Dec. 5, the day after a special prosecutor filed court papers which, Camacho has said, "raised the specter of obstruction of justice."

Attorney Louis Yanza filed the motion on behalf of Special Prosecutor Paul Vernier, who is seeking the family-violence-related criminal case against Moylan.

Moylan yesterday said the ongoing investigation and his personal case are not connected.

"I deny that those are linked," Moylan said.

Taitano said if Moylan wanted the documents, he could have made the official request in writing to the governor's office and that request would have been complied with.

"Instead, he subpoenaed the documents and intentionally told the media that he was investigating this office and the courts without even reviewing the documents first," Taitano said.

Moylan is expected to be arraigned today in the Superior Court of Guam in connection with his family-violence-related case, which stems from allegations of abuse by his estranged wife, Deborah Crisostomo Moylan.

Douglas Moylan also has made allegations against Deborah Moylan, but David Highsmith, the special prosecutor appointed by the governor to investigate Douglas Moylan's allegations, has not filed criminal charges.

Douglas Moylan yesterday kept his statement brief when responding to Taitano's comments about the timing.

"I disagree with their statement," the attorney general said.

December 10, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

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