'Not guilty' plea for 3 of 4 staffers
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Public Works employees Liberty Perez and Josephine Torres and Guam Solid Waste Engineer Supervisor Danilo Galiza pleaded not guilty to federal charges in the District Court this afternoon. Ariel Evarola will answer to the charges on Thursday when his attorney returns to the island. The four were recently indicted accused of submitting fraudulent timesheets to obtain thousands of dollars in overtime that was paid by the federal government.
The three have been released while waiting for their trial which is scheduled for May 10.
During their arraignments today, Perez's defense attorney William Gavras asked that his client be allowed to travel to the Philippines for medical issues when necessary. Gavras saying the case has been out there for quite some time and the feds even presented his client with a plea agreement several years ago and she has never been a flight risk. The request was granted.
Torres' attorney, Pat Civille, meanwhile argued that his client shouldn't have any conditions except minimal reporting to probation since the prosecution didn't present any evidence that she would possibly be a flight risk. Civille adding it was "preposterous" to take away a person's liberties without any evidence. He didn't agree with conditions that his client shouldn't be allowed to possess a firearm or refrain from alcohol.
The judge ultimately imposed all of the conditions with the exception of Torres having to surrender her passport.