by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Chief of Police Fred Bordallo issued a statement today revealing details about police involvement in the former blue house lounge and prostitution.
A statement by the Chief of Police
I revealed to the Governor's Office today the details of the Blue House case for the very first time. I have not been at liberty to discuss these matters with anyone because of the sensitivity of investigations since 2008, and that our legal system considers individuals innocent until proven guilty. However, in light of the disclosures I made today to the Governor's Office, several actions are underway involving the Police Department. One of these actions is further disclosure of the facts of this case and full cooperation and collaboration with the Attorney General's Office.
By the order of the Governor, I am informing the public of the following:
1. In 2008 a Guam Police Department officer's wife, who spoke with an employee of the Blue House, asked him to help the employee retrieve her passport from her supervisor. She was told by the Blue House employee that the supervisor took her passport and would not give it back.
2. The officer then reported this tip to the chief of the Criminal Investigations Division, who then organized an operation to go into the Blue House based on this complaint.
3. When officers arrived at the Blue House they observed criminal activity unrelated the original complaint. The lounge owner, employees and a patron were arrested on suspicion of prostitution and abetting prostitution, and the case was handed over to the Guam Attorney General's Office.
4. At some point after this, the U.S. Attorney's Office became involved.
5. At no time between the police operation into the Blue House in 2008 and the trial that commenced in February 2011 was the Guam Police Department made aware of the involvement of police officers in the operation of the Blue House. It is my understanding of the facts given to me by the Police Chief at the time that neither the Attorney General's Office nor the U.S. Attorney's Office informed GPD of the involvement of officers.
6. I was called by the U.S. Attorney's Office on the day Officer David Manila testified. I spoke to the prosecutor and he informed me that Officer Manila was a government witness and that before his testimony was to begin, Officer Manila admitted to paying for a $40 drink, then having sex in the VIP room with one of the Blue House employees.
7. As a consequence of this information coming to my attention, on February 14, 2011, I instructed Internal Affairs to begin an investigation into Officer Manila for abetting prostitution and conduct unbecoming an officer of the law.
8. At the time I was made aware of Officer Manila's conduct I was never informed about the possible involvement by officers named "Tony" or "Mario." Even though I understand that these allegations were made during the trial in 2011, I don't believe they were reported at the time and they did not come to my attention until it was recently reported by the media in September of 2012.
9. IA reviewed the transcripts of the Officer Manila's testimony. It also interviewed Officer Manila about his testimony in court, including his comments about having sex with an employee of the Blue House Lounge and about advising one of the Blue House employees that she could not leave until she had paid her debt to the owner. IA tried to interview the woman who Officer Manila had sex with but her attorney refused to allow her to be interviewed.
10. IA completed its report based on its interviews, a review of the transcripts and the media reports. During the entire investigation, IA was being advised by the Attorney General's Office.
11. After the investigation was concluded, a report with findings was made to me, and I issued an adverse action against Officer Manila based on the evidence presented at the time.
12. Until now, I have not ordered an investigation into the allegations about the possible involvement by officers named "Tony" or "Mario."
13. I explained these facts to the Governor's Office this morning in light of the looming official request by the Lieutenant Governor to the Attorney General to conduct an independent investigation. Based on these facts, Governor Calvo ordered me to disclose what I just told you. In consultation with Lt. Governor Tenorio we have decided to open an investigation into the allegations that officers named "Tony" and "Mario" may have been involved, along with any other officers. We will also be reviewing the investigation into the conduct of Officer Manila.
14. This investigation will be conducted by a senior Guam Police Department officer who has no ties to this case or any individual suspected of involvement. We hope to hold it in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office, as requested by the Lieutenant Governor.
15. As the Chief of Police, concerned both with the morale of my officers and the public's trust in our integrity, I wholeheartedly welcome this investigation.