Six Port Authority of Guam employees terminated
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Six Port Authority of Guam employees were issued final adverse action on Tuesday and were terminated from the agency. It's the latest action following an ongoing investigation into alleged impropriety and corruption uncovered at the Port back in October regarding leave and workman's compensation issues.
KUAM News has learned that those terminated were Corporate Services Manager Vivian Leon, Personnel Services Administrator Francine Roccio, Port Marketing Administrator Bernadette Stern Meno, Controller Jose "Jojo" Guevera, Program Coordinator Josette Javelosa, and Personnel Specialist Frances Arriola.
Acting Port General Manager Joanne Brown would not confirm the adverse action on Tuesday night, saying she cannot comment about personnel matters or the ongoing investigation. Additionally, Port Board Chair Dan Tydingco would not confirm or comment on the terminations. Port Oversight Chair Senator Tom Ada, howevee, confirmed that he heard of the terminations and has spoken to at least one of the individuals who was fired.
Ada stated, "Some of those who were terminated are relatively senior, so I'm hoping that with their termination that there is adequate succession planning such that the organization won't be impacted too much. When you have changes like this it creates some chaos, so it distracts." The Democrat lawmaker adding, "I have a feeling we haven't seen the end of this yet as I understand some of the employees have retained legal counsel and will be contesting this and rightfully so. They're fighting for their livelihoods. The way this has unfolded in the media, it has become relatively high-profile, making it harder for them to go out and get employment."
Ada confirmed that Leon is his second cousin and he has spoken to her since she received her adverse action. The lawmaker said she has obtained legal counsel that is helping put her case together. But Ada says, "Because it's a personnel matter, I've kind of kept arms length away and focusing on other issues facing the Port like updating their master plan and focusing on the crane surcharge they've been trying to get through."
The Port board meanwhile is scheduled to meet today at 11:45 a.m. It is unclear whether the actions will be discussed or whether management will name replacements for the senior positions that have now been vacated.