Salas to answer to KAL allegations - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Salas to answer to KAL allegations

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - It's going to be a heated hearing tomorrow, as several concerns have been raised over at the Guam Fire Department. Appointed fire chief John Salas is up for a confirmation hearing at the Legislature. GFD has been under much scrutiny and with a new fire chief in place, lawmakers and even fire fighters themselves want some answers. 

Salas is up for a confirmation hearing where even chairman of the Legislative Committee on Public Safety Adolpho Palacios plans on asking some tough questions. Salas refutes allegations that he was ever under investigation for stealing money from the victims of the Korean Airlines crash.  Allegations had surfaced yet again claiming that several individuals in the fire department and some who have retired were involved in stealing wallets and money from those who died in the crash back in 1997.

Salas told KUAM News that the allegations are unfounded and said he was never near the KAL crash site and has never been under any formal investigation for such claims. Former fire chief David Peredo launched an investigation during his term.

Then there's the issue of extra pay. Senator Palacios has received several concerns from GFD firefighters about the seven uniformed personnel that are working at the department's headquarters that are still receiving the same 24-hour shift pay as the officials who are actually stationed out in the field. The frustrated firefighters sent a letter to Palacios, urging that he have Salas answer to why the headquarters staffers are getting paid for 106 regular hours along with 14 hours overtime and 60 hours night differential.

These issues are just a few to be discussed during the hearing, to include what the chief plans on doing to address the shortage of ambulances on island.

The hearing for Salas, along with Department of Corrections director Jose San Agustin will begin at 9am followed by a confirmation hearing scheduled for chief of police Fred Bordallo that begins at 1:30pm.

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