Police chief denies any misconduct after Meno files complaint - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Police chief denies any misconduct after Meno files complaint

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Chief of the Guam Police Department Fred Bordallo now finds himself the subject of an investigation at the Attorney General's Office as well as the Police Review Commission. "I was informed by special assistant to me, Captain Chris Castro, that there is a complaint from Bernadette Stern against me," said the chief.  

Last week former Port Authority of Guam marketing manager Bernadette Stern Meno filed a complaint against Bordallo with the AG's Office, accusing the chief of police of official misconduct, obstructing governmental functions and hindering apprehension or prosecution. AG's spokesperson Carlina Charfauros confirms Meno filed the complaint and says the matter is under investigation so no further comment could be made at this time.

"I have no idea of the details of the complaint and Captain Castro has delivered that complaint over to chief of staff Frank Arriola," the chief added.

According to the Governor's Office, the matter was referred to the Guam Police Review Commission. The complaint against Bordallo stems from an august records tampering complaint Meno filed against a Port safety officer.

Meno alleges Bordallo blocked the case from moving forward and hints to a cover up by police management. While he claimed having no knowledge of the complaint details, the top brass outright denied s ever providing any confidential documents to the Port's legal counsel, which was spelled out in Meno's complaint.

"Mike Phillips is my cousin, but I have over 300-some cousins on this island - and no I have never delivered any document or whatever Miss Bernadette Stern is alleging I did in terms of her complaint," Bordallo noted.

Bordallo says he is familiar with Meno from news stories, as she was fired from the Port for allegedly illegally receiving Workers Compensation for a work related injury in September 2011. She is appealing her termination with the Civil Service Commission, which is scheduled to hear the merits of her case in the next few months.

Speculated Bordallo, "I think with this sort of complaint she's making, any individual who's in trouble with an investigation would try to make these kinds of complaints to distract attention away from the investigation that's against her."

The chief maintains he has never had any involvement with any investigation related to Meno or the Port.

And while the probe continues, Bordalo believes he's done nothing wrong. "I'm sure the Port Authority people handled that properly and appropriately and anything criminal that's with the Attorney General's Office that I'm thinking it should already be there if there's anything criminal in nature," he added.

And the AG's Office confirms there is an ongoing investigation into the Port controversy, as Charfauros told KUAM News the probe has been ongoing for at least a year and was previously handled by Assistant AG Nelson Werner and had to be reassigned.

Governor's communications director Troy Torres meanwhile agrees with the police chief and believes the complaint is nothing more than a distraction Meno is creating to draw attention away from her own problems with the law.  Torres added, "We are curious about her motives, and even more curious what is taking so long to bring her case to justice. It's been quite some time since the Port handed over its investigation to justice authorities."

Meno meanwhile issued a statement this afternoon accusing Bordallo of personally interfering and pressuring members of the police department to ignore the investigation and ordering all investigations cease after recently returning from off-island.  She also expressed concerns about Bordallo releasing her name saying,  "On one hand Chief Bordallo says he has not reviewed the criminal complaint then he says there is no merit to the case. The truth is he has seen the complaint because he has personally been interfering and pressuring members of the police department to ignore the investigation. Instead he went straight to Adelup and further involved them in this matter which is, at the minimum, a conflict of interest and potentially obstruction of governmental functions.

"Additionally, it is a common practice for a law enforcement officer to be placed on administrative leave when there is a criminal investigation launched against them. However, it appears those rules don't apply to Chief Bordallo. This investigation was being handled in a fair and professional manner until Chief Bordallo recently returned to island. I know the rank and file officers of the Guam Police Department had wanted to do the right thing but once Chief Bordallo returned he immediately stopped all investigations. As for the personal attacks against me by the Chief and the Governor's spokesman, it is unprecedented that the Chief of Police or any other law enforcement officer would comment on an ongoing confidential police investigation.

"I am shocked that Chief Bordallo would publicly release my name as the one who filed a criminal complaint and speak about the case as I had repeatedly made it clear to the police that I feared for my safety. But it seems that this is now routine for anyone who wants to be a whistle blower and come forward with allegations of wrongdoing. I hope that what is happening to me does not discourage anyone who may want to report allegations of government corruption."

Meno also questions why Bordallo has not been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the criminal investigation. 

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