GPD captain Mark Charfauros arrested - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPD captain Mark Charfauros arrested

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - In the midst of a feud in the force between two police captains and several ongoing criminal and Internal Affairs investigations, agents with the Guam Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division arrested Captain Mark Charfauros on Wednesday.  There was enough evidence to make an arrest in connection with a criminal trespassing complaint that we first reported last week. 

And now, Police Chief Fred Bordallo talks about the arrest and the ongoing feud in his department.

Captain Charfauros was arrested this afternoon on charges of criminal trespass and official misconduct. The arrest is the result of a complaint filed with police last month by Yona resident Frank Balajadia. Balajadia took issue with Charfauros trespassing on his property to access a home he was trying to rent from Balajadia's former sister-in-law.  While Charfauros has denied trespassing on the property, today Criminal Investigation Division agents had enough information to effectuate an arrest. He was not confined and was allowed to continue with his current duties as the division chief of administration.

"Employees in our department can make mistakes, too," said the chief. "Now this is speculative now because this arrest of Captain Charfauros doesn't mean he's guilty. Any individual who is arrested is presumed innocent until proven guilty."

Despite Charfauros' arrest today, police are conducting another investigation as the chief confirmed that a solicitation for assault complaint was filed with the Agat Precinct last week.  A police officer claims Captain Charfauros contacted him in late-November, asking him to assault Balajadia - and when he refused, he was transferred to another division in the department.

"With these ongoing Internal Affairs and ongoing criminal investigation cases, I don't want to jeopardize the investigation by getting into the details of who is listed as a suspect and who is not," the chief stated. "Some of the information that's been released could jeopardize the investigations and it's too much to be released."

Earlier this week Captain Paul Suba filed a Whistleblower Act complaint with the Attorney General's Office and Civil Service Commission, alleging unbecoming conduct by some officers in the department. He also raised concerns that Chief Bordallo was allowing the violations to occur without any disciplinary action. The top brass today said Suba has the right to take his concerns to another law enforcement entity. but took issue that allegations were made to the media.

"The insinuation that we neglect or we cover up or ignore any allegations that are being brought to the Guam Police Department is just totally untrue," he sternly stated. "This administration, Calvo and Tenorio, their philosophy and their values in this administration, is they're not going to tolerate any misconduct by police officers especially of a criminal nature."

While he admits he's concerned about the ongoing feud between Charfauros and Suba, he wants to make it clear to the public that the two captains don't represent the entire police department, saying, "The department doesn't revolve around these two police captains. It revolves there's more to this department, this department is bigger, and I believe if two police captains if there's situation they're getting into themselves into controversy, I think the men and women carry on with their duties and are not going to let that affect them."

Chief Bordallo says he'd rather have Charfauros remain on the job, performing his duties rather than have him on administrative leave with pay. He admitted though that had the charges been more serious he may have made a different decision. "No one is above the law," Bordallo noted. "No one is above the law and justice will go ahead and take its course."

The chief says he continues to stress to his command staff that they must work together and disputes must be settled in a diplomatic way. 

In the meantime, Charfauros has deferred all comment to his attorney, Curtis Van De Veld, who tells KUAM News that his client was not trespassing but was simply accompanying Public Works staff to locate a public easement. Additionally, he claims that CID investigated the case and found no cause to make an arrest, but Attorney Van De Veld alleges, "Due to the usual internal politics game at GPD, Major Fred Chargualaf who is also vying for the commander position, ordered that the case be transferred to the Juvenile Investigation Section and that an arrest be made even though there was no probable cause to do so, just so he (Maj. Chargualaf) could get a leg up on his employment."

Van De Veld also said his client wants his good name restored and the investigation was not in compliance with the law.

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