AG: CLTC's Barrigada Heights leases should have been approved - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

AG: CLTC's Barrigada Heights leases should have been approved

Posted: May 11, 2018 4:22 PM Updated:

The Attorney General lays down the law intervening in the highly controversial and contentious debate on how the Chamorro Land Trust Commission handled prime property in Barrigada Heights.

Through a KUAM investigation we reported that the Department of Land Management Director signed off on leases for the land to several of the employees at the Chamorro Land Trust Commission  .... some even appearing to jump the line, ahead of thousands of other Chamorros who have been waiting to be awarded a lease for land since 1995.

The opinion by Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett Anderson is pretty cut and dry, that any lease issued by the Chamorro Land Trust Commission must be approved by its board. Additionally an applicant can't just pass their lease on to another relative.. the only way that can happen is after the applicant's death-ad it can only go to immediate family - husband, wife children  widow, widowers of the brothers and sisters, or nieces and nephews - and even in this case, it also has to be approved by the board. During our KUAM investigation the paper trail showed that didn't happen  no board approval was given -- giving the appearance of what many have questioned as - who-you-know hookups.

The AG has determined that these leases that were signed off by the Administrative director are voidable though not yet void - but she recommends the CLTC board decide on that and that all parties should be notified of such. They must now go before the commission's board during an open meeting to allow for public discussion and possibly even a vote.

As for the leases that were switched with another applicant? Well, according to the AG those are now null and void, those applicants however should be permitted to resume the order of the date and time they applied.

The AG's opinion was executed at the request of Senator Regine Biscoe Lee, whose mother signed over her lease to property in Barrigada Heights over to her, which Lee said is for her children's future. The AG's opinion shuts that down - since Senator Lee's mother is still alive.

Lee in a statement to the media Friday afternoon thanked her for her timely response "I sought her review because everyone on Guam has to play by the rules, and we all lose when the law isn't followed. I concur with the attorney general's recommendations, and I will comply as promised. We all should. It's the right thing to do."

The CLTC Board is scheduled to meet next Thursday to discuss the AG opinion.

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