Lawsuit seeks to stop carnival casino
A lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court of Guam aimed at halting all games of chance and casino activities at this year's Liberation Carnival. The petitioner claims they've been dealt a bad hand by the Mayors Council of Guam and the Guam Liberation Historical Society.
Jiu Sen Zheng believes both organizations aren't following the rules, saying, "All we are asking is that the Mayors Council and the Guam Liberation Historical Society go out to bid and put a fair bid out there for everyone." Zheng is represented by Attorney Vince Camacho, who believes the groups did not give ample time to bidders, saying, "The big issue is that they didn't go about the procurement process they just put out the bid on April 20 and you have to submit it by April 24, which is unreasonable time for a bidder who has to construct a building, purchase materials, and equipment to run a casino or even a bingo to put a proper reasonable bid together."
According to court documents, Camacho argues that the bid packets failed to include all necessary requirements such as an exact date and time set for the receipts of bids, or the address of the office the bids were to be delivered to. Despite this Camacho says that his client requested an extension and was given until May 27 to submit a bid. "So we asked them again they failed to respond to our questions and failed to respond to our protest, and the next letter we got was that we're running everything in-house," he said.
Court documents state the MCOG sought approval from Governor Eddie Calvo to authorize the Guam Liberation Historical Society to conduct the operations of the games of chance and the casino at the carnival and was approved on May 13. Chairperson for the Concession Committee, Mayor Paul McDonald, said, "As our attorneys were reviewing the alleged suit that came up they had came out with a the agreement or the law that specifies that as the Mayors Council of Guam had relinquished the responsibilities to the foundation."
He further states that because the Guam Liberation Historical Society was running the operations their attorneys agreed that "we didn't have to go through the procurement process." Camacho disagrees, noting, "We don't believe the law allows the Mayors Council of Guam to run or the Guam Liberation Historical Society to run the carnival without going out to bid, and that's what the law says and that's all we're asking."
His client is petitioning that the court command the MCOG to perform their legal and ministerial duties under procurement law and to cease the games of chance and casino operations and reopen the bidding process. In response the MCOG filed a motion to dismiss the petition based on the failure to state sufficient legal basis as the determination of who is authorized to operate the games of chance at the carnival is a decision made by the governor.
The case has been continued until Tuesday morning.