Port legal counsel: former GM letters to AG lack merit - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Port legal counsel: former GM letters to AG lack merit

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Attorney General's Office is still reviewing the two letters former Port Authority of Guam general manager Mary Torres sent within the past two weeks. In her letter, Torres requests for an investigation into alleged improper payments to the Port's legal counsel Phillips and Bordallo. Specifically she calls into question the Port's payments in excess of a $499,000 cap, saying it was "without proper authority, illegal and contrary to law."

Port management along with legal counsel Mike Phillips have refuted the allegations. "Whether the Legislature or the AG, anyone who has a question just has to submit it to us and we respond to it, we have the answers. As I said earlier, the anger and the frustration is understandable given the very serious nature of the cases against these individuals," said Phillips. KUAM News asked if he would you say this is all untrue and without merit, to which Phillips responded, "Without, absolutely not. There's just no facts that support it and it's always nice when you make an argument to have a few facts that support it but more than that the legal conclusions of law are erroneous."

Phillips adds that it may appear that the former GM has forgotten that it's the board that primarily assigns legal counsel the work further stating that there was no complaints before, only until the allegations of wrongdoing were brought to light.

Meanwhile it was during last week's board meeting when Port management noted that Phillips and Bordallo's had met its cap in January with a few months remaining in the contract year. Phillips had estimated the billings for January to march at around $150,000. In order exceed the cap, the board would have to amend its budget but decided to refrain from doing so until billings were provided by the legal counsel. Phillips says he will be submitting the billings next week.

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