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Another inmate taking DepCor to court

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Another inmate has filed a case against the Department of Education.  This latest case involves an inmate who alleges the agency failed to provide him due process. And they believe it's a tactic the inmate is using just to get out of facing additional charges.  

Although he is spending time behind bars for a murder that occurred in 2003, Melan Mendiola is now taking DepCor to court alleging a lack of due process. Administrative and Financial Affairs Captain Jessie Tupaz says the civil case stems from a February incident that occurred within the prison, telling KUAM News, "I believe Melan might have been involved with some infraction at the main facility, I couldn't tell you what it was off the bat but it was awhile ago."

Mendiola was charged in 2003 with murder as a first degree felony after he shot Miles Gonzales Fernandez twice, killing him, then running him over before he fled the scene. But this time Mendiola was charged for allegedly assaulting another inmate, being in an unauthorized area and refusing to obey DepCor staff. He's since been placed in the Post 6 maximum security unit.

However, DepCor feels that his argument in court is just a tactic to change the books and have those charges dropped.  "He claims he didn't get the investigative findings and that the director didn't answer," said Tupaz.

DepCor is working on the case with the Attorney General's Office.  But Tupaz says the department never gives the full investigative report, and is confident that Mendiola's complaint will not move forward.  He said, "There is an answer in a John Jr. Pangelinan vs. DOC in where the plaintiff alleges that the director of DOC failed to respond in a timely manner, the courts findings at that time was that the director did respond and that was enough."

Judge Anita Sukola today set a further proceedings hearing for October 7 at 10am.

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