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By Mark-Alexander Pieper

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 21) – Former Guam Memorial Hospital Administrator Bill McMillan was indicted by a Superior Court grand jury for his alleged role in allowing the hospital administration to deduct retirement contributions from hospital employees' paychecks and not forwarding the money to the Retirement Fund.

McMillan, who no longer lives on Guam, was charged with the third-degree felony of conspiracy to commit the crime of misapplication of entrusted funds, the misdemeanor of misapplication of entrusted funds, third-degree felony of conspiracy to commit the crime of failure to pay wages, and misdemeanor of failure to pay wages. The alleged crimes took place between Feb. 22 and Dec. 31 of last year.

According to a recent audit by Public Auditor Doris Brooks, the hospital and the Guam Public School System owe about $33 million to the Retirement Fund, for money that was deducted from employee salaries but spent on other things. Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo issued a judicial order that government agencies need to pay what they owe to the Fund or explain why they should not.

If convicted of all charges, McMillan could face up to eight years in prison, though it is unlikely he would be made to serve his terms consecutively, Assistant Attorney General Anthony Welch, the lead prosecuting attorney, said at a press conference yesterday.

The AG's office alleges that at least 35 hospital employees eligible to retire aren't able to because of McMillan's role in the hospital's failure to pay, and that four employees who have retired never received their retirement checks.

The attorney general's office said McMillan's most recent attorney was contacted to inform the former hospital administrator that he must appear before Superior Court Judge Arthur Barcinas at 10 a.m. on Jan. 4.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan said McMillan is not being accused of taking the money for personal gain but as the hospital's certifying officer, he withheld payment to the Retirement Fund because the hospital could not afford it at the time.

Moylan warns that McMillan's indictment is the first of several indictments that will come down on certifying officers for failing to perform their duties.

According to Pacific Daily News files, the retirement debt dates back to fiscal 2000, and developed under six administrators before McMillan. GMH Board Chairman Phil Flores, who was on the board when McMillan was hired, declined to comment on the indictment yesterday. Current hospital Administrator PeterJohn Camacho did not return messages left with his administration staff for comment.

Moylan said this is "a call for certifying officers to act like certifying officers" in that they need to "take responsibility for their actions and not listen to the governor or anyone above you who tells you not to pay or delay (payment to the Retirement Fund)."

Welch added that from now on the attorney general's office will be paying close attention to certifying officers in government corruption cases and will pursue criminal action against them if applicable.

Moylan said that his office is calling on all certifying officers who have not paid full salaries, as required by law, to contact the attorney general's office.

McMillan resigned from the hospital in April after Gov. Felix Camacho replaced him with then-Department of Public Health Director PeterJohn Camacho. McMillan told the Pacific Daily News in May that his termination was based on his race and national origin.

December 21, 2005

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