by Nick Delgado
Guam - Concerns of incompetent handling of federal grant applications and reporting have prompted Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz to call for an oversight hearing on the Guam Fire Department. GFD apparently missed out on more than $10 million in federal grants. The Democrat lawmaker is calling for an accounting of the situation, saying the loss of the funds has placed the safety of our residents in serious jeopardy.
GFD Spokesperson Joey San Nicolas explains why there was a holdup in the closeout of 2006 grants that weren't submitted until late last year. "As far as the specific details as to why that did not happen prior our transfer into this new management team, we cannot explain. However, since August 2009 when Captain Ed Flores and myself came on board as part of this new management team, we have been aggressively pursuing grants with the full support of the fire chief," he said.
While Cruz is calling for an oversight hearing, public safety committee chair Senator Adolpho Palacios believes the issue can be discussed without having an oversight.