Jury finds Frank Mesa not guilty - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Jury finds Frank Mesa not guilty

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - After four weeks of trial and less than two days of deliberation, a Superior Court jury rendered a not guilty verdict in the case of retired assistant fire chief Frank Mesa.  Last year Mesa was arrested on 82 counts of record tampering, 82 counts of official misconduct and theft by deception.  He is accused of billing the government for work he never performed at the Guam Fire Department, while he was instead working at the Transportation Security Administration.

Mesa was only indicted on three counts of theft by deception as a 2nd degree felony, two counts of theft by deception as a 3rd degree felony and five counts of official misconduct. Today jurors found him not guilty on all those counts, as well as an additional 12 lesser charges. 

His attorney, Tom Fisher, says he and his client have a deep sense of gratitude that the jury saw the truth and listened to his client and former chief Mike Uncangco's testimony during the trial.  Said Fisher, "The timekeeping system for the Guam Fire Department is far and away the most complicated timekeeping system in the Government of Guam, and as they were switching from the Oracle-based system to the AS-400 system in order to make sure people got paid, there had to be a timesheet submitted.

"The chief wanted to make sure people got paid and just put them on the 24-hour cycle and while the 24-hour cycle didn't represent the exact hours that probably anyone in the Guam Fire Department was working, the question was whether they were actually working the hours.  And they were."

Attorney Fisher added that Chief Uncangco even testified that he allowed Mesa to work both jobs.  Fisher stresses that the Attorney General's Office must thoroughly ask questions and investigate before bringing charges against individuals.

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