Camacho tenders resignation to GHURA board
Guam - After returning from his 20-day suspension today, Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority executive director Marcel Camacho submitted a resignation to Governor Eddie Calvo and to his board of directors during their meeting this morning in Sinajana. In his letter to the governor, Camacho thanked him for the opportunity to serve, but said it was no secret he was bumping heads with his board.
Not only has Camacho resigned from GHURA, he's alleging irregularities in the handling of last year's low income housing tax credit allocation. In his resignation, Camacho was vague on specifics but indicated that proper authorities were notified, adding, "All will discover that I refused to complete the LIHTC transactions when asked to sign as the Executive Director, because I believed that it was in my best interest based on my moral and ethical standards."
A procurement protest was filed over GHURA's decision to award millions in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to Great Homes and Tower 70. GHURA board chair Dave Sablan had said the two companies ranked the lowest but were selected because the other top three companies had site control issues. The top ranked offer, Medallion, responded that it met all of the necessary requirements including an executed land agreement.
During today's GHURA board meeting members accepted Camacho's resignation, with Sablan saying, "He felt that t wasn't the way it should have been handled and since his approach was different from that of the board he felt that it was against his standard and he didn't want to be involved at that point with whatever the board decided so he resigned on that basis." Asked if Camacho felt that the board acted unethically, Sablan responded, "That's his reasoning but I don't believe we did anything unorthodox or unethical. We deliberated very clearly. We reviewed all of the packets and we made these awards accordingly."
The board would not disclose why Camacho was placed on administrative leave in the first place. The action however did follow his comments about the Sagan Bonita project in which he called it a "blighted community" that was behind. The board said his comments were "unprofessional and uncalled for". The decision also followed the board's concerns about possible perceived conflicts that were not disclosed back in December when Camacho attempted to bring up a request from Paradise Meadows, which was seeking a waiver of the $8,000 system development charge for each of the 101 homes they are building.
Camacho's father is a principal in the company, but he told KUAM he only did some consulting work and does not own stock in the business. Camacho in the meantime hopes the governor will make some major changes with the GHURA board, stating in his letter "if things remain status quo. A lot of people will lose confidence in a government entity that consistently shined and out-performed because of the staff's dedication to their work and the people they serve."
The board has appointed Ray Topasna to continue serving as acting executive director, with Millie Taitano to serve as acting deputy.