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Fernandez's settlement delayed

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While all parties appear to want to settle the controversial lawsuit filed by the superintendent of education against the Guam Education Board, it remains tied up in federal court due to a disagreement over one issue.

There is only one thing standing in the way of settling the $7 million lawsuit filed by superintendent Jon Fernandez against the Guam Education Board - disagreement on whether or not legislative approval is needed. Attorney Delia Lujan Wolff argued in court today that legislative approval would not be needed for a draft settlement agreement she submitted to the Attorney General's Office but that was never shown to board members. The draft agreement would not call for cash payment. When chief judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood asked why the draft agreement was never presented to the board, assistant attorney general Kenneth Orcutt said he didn't have to present the board with the draft agreement, adding the AG's office has the final say when it comes to the settlement agreement. Without resolution, a motions hearing was set for September 22nd. Meanwhile senator Joe San Agustin said if legislative approval is needed to settle the case, he has yet to see anything in writing from the AG's office.

"I met with the chairman, he's advised me that the attorney generals office is saying that we need to have a legislative approval for his settlement and is said okay where is the official letter," he said.

He has since submitted draft legislation to the AG's office that would allow for settlement in this case as well as others.

"So that the legislature's not bogged down with we need to settle $10,000, we need to settle a $60,000, as long as it don't exceed $100,000 and the agency had the funding to pay for it then let them settle it," he said.

He also called into question previous settlements and whether or not these also underwent approval from Guam senators.

"Because if we're saying under the code you are required if any settlement has got to go through the legislature, then what other settlements have gone through before in the past, and how is that settle - because I know for a fact there's been a lot of settlements, and if there has been, then what makes this any different," he said.

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