FORMER GUAM GOVERNOR FOILS INVESTIGATORS

admin's picture

By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 9) - Law enforcement officials searched the exterior of former Gov. Carl Gutierrez's house at his Urunao ranch yesterday afternoon but couldn't get past the front door because he told them he did not have a key.

Just after 2 p.m. yesterday, a convoy of marked and unmarked vehicles made its way down a narrow dirt road to Gutierrez's cliffside ranch in Dededo.

"When we were entering the access road, he was leaving," Deputy Attorney General James Casey said, referring to Gutierrez. "Our vehicles crossed paths and then he was directed to double back, at which time I served him with the search warrant."

Casey said the warrant was issued in connection with the ongoing investigation concerning the former governor and his Urunao ranch. Gutierrez was indicted Dec. 30 on charges he used more than $64,000 in government supplies and personnel to build his ranch, Pacific Daily News files state.

The former governor was with high-profile attorney David Lujan when police arrived at the ranch. As police officers probed his property, Gutierrez paced around the premises accompanied by Lujan.

Attorney Randall Cunliffe, who also is a Democratic senator, said he still represents Gutierrez. Cunliffe said he didn't know why Lujan was at the former governor's ranch.

Gutierrez and Lujan would not respond to media inquiries while at the ranch and calls to Gutierrez's Agana Heights home yesterday afternoon were not answered.

The former governor, however, told Casey that he did not have a key to the residence and was at the ranch to check on solar panels, which sit atop the two-story home.

Casey said officials decided not to "batter down the doors" and instead will return to continue their probe. Gutierrez agreed to make the premises available for a search, Casey said.

Investigators from the Guam Police Department yesterday were able to take photographs and videotape construction materials outside the home. The search took about 40 minutes.

Police officers were posted at the Urunao site and will remain on the property until the search warrant is completely executed.

"We are making sure that the evidence that we are trying to uncover is not transported out of the compound between now and when we do execute the search warrant," Casey said.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan said by phone last night that his office will launch an investigation into how the search warrant was leaked to the media. A handful of media representatives were at Urunao during and after the search.

"We have an ongoing investigation as to how a sealed grand jury indictment was leaked in an unrelated matter, ... and we are now going to be investigating who tipped off the search warrant before it was being executed," said Moylan, who is currently off island.

"Although there is freedom of the press, there is a concurrent interest that the laws protect the integrity of criminal investigations," Moylan said.

January 9, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment