New judge assigned to airport contract case - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

New judge assigned to airport contract case

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - While the ongoing dispute over the lucrative specialty retail concessionaire contract at the Guam International Airport Authority has yet to be resolved between DFS Guam and Lotte Duty Free, a new judge has been assigned to the case. Judge Vernon Perez was assigned Tuesday following the recusal of Superior Court Presiding Judge Alberto Lamorena earlier this month.

As we reported, Lamorena recused himself over family relationships with those involved in the case. His brother Tony Lamorena is a Calvo Administration cabinet member, his brother Alberto Lamorena IV was the general manager of the DFS Guam airport store in the 90's and his sister-in-law Lisa Lamorena is employed with DFS Guam and participated in the proposal presentation.

DFS attorney Bill Blair tells KUAM Judge Michael Bordallo reviewed the request by Lamorena and determined his recusal in the case was for good grounds and valid. He adds no date has been set to hear the matter in court.

Lotte attorney Cesar Cabot meanwhile tells KUAM his client is still working around the clock to meet its move-in deadline of July 21. He adds Lotte has already expended and committed in excess of 24 million dollars to prepare for the turn-over which includes hiring and offering jobs to 125 individuals with a total projection of 200.

As we reported, DFS Group filed suit against Lotte and the airport alleging improprieties with the award of the lucrative specialty retail concessionaire contract. DFS has asked the superior court to halt the contract with Lotte. Lotte in the meantime has fired back with its own allegations of wrongdoing specifically asking that DFS Guam be debarred or suspended for two years from any procurement contracts as they claim the airport evaluation team was provided with an improper gratuity, namely iPads to assist with their evaluation efforts in which the iPads were not collected by DFS following the evaluation.

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