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Airport attorney challenges judge's findings on legal battle between GIAA and DFS

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Airport attorney Genevieve Rapadas says they were preparing for a scheduled trial in the nearly five-year legal battle between GIAA and Duty Free shoppers when they learned Friday that judge Arthur Barcinas had instead issued summary judgment in favor of DFS.

The judge ruled that the airport had violated various procurement laws when it awarded a 10-year, 150-million dollar contract to Lotte in 2012. He's also ordered the specialty retail concession deal be rebid.

Rapadas says Lotte pays the airport 15 million dollars in annual guaranteed rent, and has also kicked in millions for other terminal improvements. The airport says it's the best deal its ever made.

“This is almost double the amount dfs was paying under its prior contracts, but triple the amount dfs was obligated to pay under those contracts”, says Rapadas.

The airport is challenging the judge's finding that it violated various procurement laws, because Rapadas says it's the same process the airport has used for twenty years.  She says it's a common practice by airports, and ironically it's the same process used for two contracts plaintiff DFS won.

Rapadas stating, “Most recently at the San Francisco airport, and prior to the Guam airport the LAX airport. So the request for proposal process its standard. Its best practices around the world and so we were surprised when the court found that this is not the process the airport should have used.”

She says the motion to stay is to protect the airport against what they believe would be irreparable harm if for example; Lotte would no longer pay the rent under a voided contract. She adds it could have a cascading effect on other critical airport contracts, “We certainly know that it will have significant, or potentially have significant impact on the airport as well as the traveling public of Guam.”

Rapadas says ultimately they are seeking a reversal by the supreme court of the lower court's decision.

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