DFS files for temporary restraining order - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DFS files for temporary restraining order

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The battle rages on over the airport concession contract. DFS has filed a complaint in the Superior Court alleging improprieties with the awarding of the contract to Lotte, of which Lotte has vehemently denied. Today DFS took it one step further by filing with the court today a request for a temporary restraining order to block Lotte from moving into the airport. Over the weekend Lotte began its transition into GIAA. As we reported DFS is supposed to vacate the airport by July 21st.

In its request for a TRO DFS lists a slew of reasons why the TRO should be granted citing for example its worldwide reputation could be tarnished in that other airports who are following the situation at GIAA could wrongly believe Lotte's public accusations that DFS improperly and illegally sought to hinder the lawful transition of the airport to Lotte. DFS also cites that it could have irreparable harm with its relationships with vendors and suppliers. DFS is requesting the court allow it stay at for the period of time it takes to resolve the lawsuit.

DFS attorney Bill Blair tells KUAM that the TRO was filed because they're trying to prevent Lotte from taking over an unlawful contract that they illegally obtained. He further tells KUAM that DFS is moving on two tracks - one is pursuing its rights and remedies in the courts but at the same time recognizing there are contractual obligations that DFS has to the airport. He adds if DFS does not get the temporary relief its seeking with the TRO, they will vacate the premises by midnight this Saturday. He adds even if DFS does not get the TRO, they intend to continue to pursue the remedies adding "this is not going to be over even if Lotte is in and DFS is out...the battle will go on". Meanwhile Lotte's attorney Cesar Cabot says this is a "bad faith filing by DFS" and "it's too little, too late."

Cabot tells KUAM that Lotte has already occupied two satellite spaces at the airport which were turned over by DFS.

Lotte meanwhile has also filed an objection to have Superior Court Judge Vern Perez preside over their case.  Lotte cites Judge Perez is first cousins with Joann Camacho who is a high level executive at DFS who "directly participated in bringing allegations of wrongdoing against Lotte to GIAA in connection with DFS' protest of the specialty retail concession request for proposal". The objection, filed with the court, also notes the close personal ties Judge Perez has with Camacho's husband, former governor Felix Camacho.  Perez was appointed to his current position as judge by the former governor. 

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