by Mindy Aguon
Guam - District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood denied the government's motion for a stay in the Ordot consent decree case. The request was made after the court granted the full substitution of legal counsel for the government and removing the Attorney General's Office from representing the Government of Guam in the case.
The court found that the AG's Office had been taking instructions from the federal receiver. The governor's office had requested the stay to allow a complete review of the case and the various procurements and projects related to the closure of the Ordot Dump. Concerns had been raised that the government was not aware of how much it would cost.
The judge found that a stay of the proceedings is unwarranted and would result in further environmental harm and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act. Tydingco Gatewood said a stay would delay the government's compliance with the Ordot consent decree.
Additionally she reiterated that the federal receiver is to proceed with the awarding of the construction work for the closure of the dump by October 31 unless a stay is ordered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The judge also issued an order to Attorney Rawlen Mantanona, requiring that he provide a declaration to the court that his law firm does not currently represent any construction companies that may have submitted bids for the post closure projects for the Ordot Dump.
The federal receiver expressed concerns that the Cabot-Mantanona law firm website showed that they represented some construction companies that may have bid for the projects. In court last week, Mantanona clarified to the court that a lawyer at his firm had previously represented several construction companies at a prior firm, but none of the representation dealt with work performed relating to the Ordot Dump.