Adelup responds to order over Ordot consent decree - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Adelup responds to order over Ordot consent decree

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It was late Monday afternoon when the District Court issued an order in the Ordot consent decree case essentially trashing the governor's attorneys for their lack of cooperation. Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood isn't too pleased with the Government of Guam's attorneys in the case.

She told KUAM News, "We're pleased because the judge has been consistent in her rulings as far as making sure there is no conflict in attorneys representing both the receiver and the government."

In an order issued Monday, the chief judge makes it clear that allowing a full substitution of counsel for the Government of Guam has resulted in a three-month delay and could cost the government millions of dollars more. The governor's deputy press secretary Phil Leon Guerrero responded by saying, "Now we're not going to apologize for representing the interests of the people of Guam because that's our job, and we're very proud of that."

Judge Tydingco Gatewood further questioned the reasonableness of Attorneys Rawlen Mantanona and Sandra Miller's refusal to assist in various matters and participate in discussions with the receiver Gershman, Brickner & Bratton. She went on to say the lack of action by the legal team was found to be unacceptable saying their actions appear to "obstruct, delay and thwart" the receivers efforts and those of the board. Leon Guerrero instead says if there's any delay it's at the result of the receiver not having its own legal counsel, adding he doesn't believe it's unreasonable to hold attorneys to their ethical standard.

"So really what we're saying is its not unreasonable to have this Tennessee company who has its own interest hire someone to represent its own interest - it would really be unethical to have the legal counsel for the government and the people of Guam also representing this Tennessee firm who is responsible for costing the people of Guam hundreds of millions of dollars," he detailed.

As for additional projects that are required by the government for the Ordot Dump closure, the court noted that the receiver would have to utilize money that is normally paid to the government each year for debt service to complete those projects. Leon Guerrero says the governor's attorneys work for the people of Guam and not the federal receiver. "And we're going to continue to represent the people of Guam and anytime this Tennessee law firm does something that isn't in the best interest of people of Guam, then every Guamanian can rest assured that there's going to be a check and balance and it's going to be here from the Governor's Office," he said.

As for what's next, Leon Guerrero says the Governor's Office will continue to follow the case and to ensure that the Ordot Dump is closed in a reasonable manner to include pursuing the federal government.

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