by Mindy Aguon
Guam - District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood is preparing to end the federal receivership and hand control of the Solid Waste Management Authority to the board. In a decision handed down today, the judge approved the government's motion to substitute counsel but only as it applies to payment of the land condemnation judgment.
GovGuam and the Attorney General's Office disagree over the payment of the $25 million judgment to the landowners of condemned Dandan property. Landowners have been waiting for payment but the federal receiver has been opposed to using bond proceeds to pay the judgment claiming it is needed for the closure of the Ordot Dump. The court noted that the AG's Office has handled the case for the government for nearly a decade and is intimately aware of the various issues in the case.
Tydingco Gatewood notes that final design plans for the closure of the Ordot Dump awaits approval and the "finish line is in sight" putting an end to an era of non-compliance by the government. She adds the court and the public will not tolerate any derailment or delay to this progress.
A quarterly status hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.