Sparks fly in court over carnival - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Sparks fly in court over carnival

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Believing he had been dealt a bad hand when it came to applying for a bid to operate games of chance and the casino at this year's Liberation Carnival, Jiu Zen Zheng filed a case against the Mayors Council of Guam and the Guam Liberation Historical Society. In today's hearing before Judge Arthur Barcinas, things got heated from the start between Zheng's attorney, Vince Camacho, and GLHS attorney Jefferey Moots.

Before the court was the motion to dismiss, however, what took center stage was the accusations of misleading the court. "I've been doing this a long time and I have to say this is the first time I have been accused of lying to the court," Moots stated. "And it upsets me so if get a little aggressive towards him I will apologize and try to reign it in, but I don't like being called a liar especially when the person calling me a liar is the one lying to the court in writing."

Zheng alleges that the MCOG and GLHS did not follow proper protocol in the procurement process. Camacho questioned whether the GLHS was a legit non-profit organization registered with the Department of Revenue & Tax, why the organization was formed instead of the Liberation Day Committee and whether a permit authorizing the gambling operations was obtained. According to Moots, the arguments presented by Camacho are, in fact, moot.

He announced of his counterpart, "He makes a big deal about whether or not the Guam Liberation Historical Society meets the requirements of 64.70. That's irrelevant. If you look at 64.70, it authorizes certain types of non-profit organizations to run a bingo game."

Meanwhile Judge Barcinas asked why the Island Fair Committee was not made part of the lawsuit, to which Camacho responded that the committee was the Mayors Council. He said, "The response that we got from the Mayors Council of Guam and all the responses has always been the Guam Liberation Historical Society. In fact, the letter that we received was that the Mayors Council of Guam has relinquished their authority to the Guam Liberation Historical Society, so apparently the Mayors council hasn't formed this."

According to Judge Barcinas, the question is was the proper lawsuit before the court a writ of mandamus or a writ of injunctive relief, or maybe a writ for the Mayors Council to form its Island Fair Committee. "Your Honor we are at two weeks into the Liberation Carnival already," the lawyer said. The judge replied, "Maybe that's why you need a writ of injunction." Moots said, "You order us to, we will close the fair down. That's what Mr. Camacho wants."

However, Camacho says they are not looking to close down the fair, but instead for the MCOG and GLHS to comply with the law. In light of this Barcinas questioned whether a bid was issued and according to Camacho while a bid was issued it was rescinded prompting Barcinas to question whether the government has the right to rescind a bid, but an even bigger question arose as to whether a permit was issued to authorizing the games of chance and casino. While Camacho argued that he does not believe a permit exists.

Moots disagreed providing a letter with the signature of the governor authorizing and approving the GLHS to conduct the operations.

And after the legal counsel for both parties went back and forth, arguing their sides of the case. Judge Barcinas decided to take the motion to dismiss under advisement.

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