by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Governor's Office is pleased with District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood's decision today in which she granted Adelup's motion to have a full substitution of counsel to represent the government's best interests in the Ordot consent decree case. Adelup issued the following press release:
"We ratepayers have been wondering why it costs so much for trash service, and now we're faced with another increase. All of the decisions surrounding the costs from this Consent Decree were done without a legal voice for several years now. That's because the ratepayers had no representation while the elected AG was being the lawyer for the off-island company that's been spending all of the people's money," said Governor's Legal Counsel Sandra Miller. "We needed that to stop. It was just wrong for our lawyer to be the other side's lawyer as well. This was especially wrong because of the obvious conflict when the elected AG is representing the very off-island company that's spending and charging us ratepayers for its costs."
At a hearing today to delay the federal receiver from spending any more money on the contractor to close Ordot, the Judge expressed her surprise at the AG's position that it was representing the receiver and it was taking instructions from the receiver.
Attorney Rawlen Mantanona, who joined today's hearing in place of Miller (who is on personal leave right now), explained to Judge Tydingco-Gatewood that it is important to suspend any more spending on the Ordot issue until the government has time to make up for the past two-and-a-half years that the ratepayers have lacked representation.
"What we need to know is whether we can make this cheaper for the ratepayers," Miller said. "We will do this while also ensuring the proper closure of the Ordot Dump and the maintenance of the new landfill. We have a responsibility to disagree with the receiver sticking us for runaway and frivolous spending. Up until this point, every decision was shoved down our throats, from the condemnation of Layon to the pavement of a road that was miles longer that it needed to be made, to the increase in the trash fees and everything else in between. We are going to look out for the best interests of the ratepayers of Guam, and the U.S. Attorney's Office and the federal government will now have to answer for the way they've bullied Guamanians into paying for this mess."
The administration also notes its disgust with slanderous allegations by the U.S. Attorney's Office that the administration is just trying to pay the condemnation costs. The administration had nothing to do with the condemnation of that land and has actively been trying to resolve that conflict by lowering the cost of the condemnation. The U.S. Attorney's Office used this as a political distraction to its benefit after the Judge's ruling. That ruling ended their ruse for the past few years to use the Guam Attorney General against the very people who elected him.
"The jig is up," Governor Calvo said. The Governor has been watching this issue from the sidelines after recusing himself from these proceedings. Nonetheless, he continues to be concerned about the costs of this receivership and the runaway spending of the receiver.
"This is just typical of the U.S. government's attitude toward its territorial possessions. They've been abetting the off-island companies that are just scraping the mighty dollar off our backs and taking it all back to Corporate Tennessee," Lt. Governor Tenorio said.
"This is just another typical example of the U.S. government doing whatever it wants and saying whatever it needs to advance its own interests and keep us down," Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark said. "We are grateful that the judge stopped this abuse today and allowed the Guamanian people to have representation in a U.S. court."