FORMER GUAM GOVERNOR INNOCENT, ATTORNEY SAYS

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By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 1) - The two criminal cases against former Gov. Carl Gutierrez are weak and he maintains his innocence, an attorney representing Gutierrez said yesterday.

Carl Gutierrez was indicted Tuesday on charges he used more than $64,000 worth of government of Guam supplies and personnel to build his two-story cliffside ranch in Urunao, Dededo.

Gutierrez, 62, and former department of administration director Clifford Guzman, 50, also were indicted Tuesday for having allegedly authorized the use of government funds to pay for more than 2,000 private streetlights.

"I haven't even seen the indictments yet. Other than what I heard on the news," attorney Randall Cunliffe, who also is a democratic senator, said.

Cunliffe said he has been in contact with Gutierrez, who is on the island.

Attempts by the pacific daily news to talk to Gutierrez for comment Tuesday and yesterday were unsuccessful.

Gutierrez was not at his Agana heights home yesterday, people at the residence said when calls and visits were made there. No one answered knocks at the Gutierrez ranch in Urunao Tuesday.

"He is here," Cunliffe said. "He maintains his innocence and he feels that he will be exonerated when and if this matter ever gets to trial."

Cunliffe said he would get copies of the indictments, grand jury transcripts, police reports and other statements before deciding on the next legal move.

"Until we get a chance to look at the documents and see what they actually are saying happened, it sounds like a pretty weak case as far as what I have heard so far," cunliffe said. "It sounds to me like the indictment is probably susceptible to dismissal."

When asked to respond to Cunliffe's comments, attorney general Douglas Moylan said: "I will leave it up to the justice system to decide that."

Moylan, however, said he is concerned that Cunliffe, who has legislative oversight of the AG’s office, is at the same time representing Gutierrez.

Cunliffe's law firm also has represented former Guam mass transit authority deputy general manager Antonio "Tony" Diaz, who was indicted in February on allegations he charged $10,000 on the agency's card for a computer, airline tickets and clothes, among other items.

After receiving news of the former governor's indictment, delegate Madeleine Bordallo, who was the lieutenant governor when Gutierrez was governor, released a written statement.

"These are serious charges, but every citizen, even a former governor, is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial," Bordallo said in a release.

"I do not think it is appropriate to comment beyond acknowledging that as an island community, we are always aware of the burden this places on the families. I hope that this legal matter is resolved quickly and fairly for the benefit of Guam."

January 1, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

 

 

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