Prosecution asserts conspiracy in opening statements against GHURA board members.
Opening statements in the three former Guam Housing Urban Renewal Authority board members case began with Chief Prosecutor Basil O' Mallen.
The defendants David Sablan, Cecile Suda and Roland Selvidge are accused of holding a working session meeting on Dec. 26, 2011 that centered on discussions to award several millions of dollars from GHURA's low-income housing tax credit.
All three defendants face conspiracy charges as a misdemeanor.
O'Mallen said in court, "and in this working session a decision is made on who to receive the LIHTC award. That is clear and contrary to open government law. The doors were locked, the public was not invited, there was no notice given to the general public or to the media. There was just the board of commissioners and GHURA staff on December 26th. The next day on December 27th they held a public meeting, at that public meeting they agreed to the decision that had been made the day before."
This incident is for the first set of charges, explains O'Mallen. Going on to say the second group of charges is from another incident that occurred in April 2015 involving a GHURA credit card and a decision made via email.
Sablan is represented by attorney Samuel Teker, Suda is represented by attorney Curits Van de Veld and Sevlidge is represented by attorney Bill Bischoff.
Teker reserved on opening statements, while the two other defense attorneys stated to the jury that bottom line, the board acted in good faith and there was no criminal intent at all.
Van de Veld said to the jury "you should pay close attention to the law, you should pay close attention to the facts and circumstances because what you will find is on December 26th there was a working session referred to an onsite inspection of the program and what these people did relative to holding that was so they could become best informed about a very important decision."
Sablan was the chair of the agency at the time and faces 11 charges, the most amongst all three defendants.
Government witness testimonies also began this afternoon and will continue to tomorrow.