Employee letter: Brennan not capable of running DOC
KUAM has obtained a letter from Department of Corrections employees highlighting major concerns they have with Director Samantha Brennan.
KUAM has confirmed the letter is from DOC employees. The six-page letter which is accredited to "the Core of the Department of Corrections," cites "a very hostile environment within our facility."
It also says Brennan and former Deputy Director Joey Terlaje "began to feud amongst themselves" within two weeks of being appointed by Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.
"The director would give orders and the deputy director would not follow through. In the eyes of the subordinates, seeing the top leaders not getting along affected the professionalism and productivity of daily operations," according to the letter.
It's also alleged that Brennan has given decision-making authority to Administrative Services Officer Ovita Nauta. Brennan has "empowered the ASO Ms. Ovita Nauta to make decisions in her absence.
Nauta recently plead guilty to a case while she was employed at GPD pertaining to the mishandling of funds. Nauta is again handling departmental funds and budget," the letter says. The letter also alleges Nauta is Brennan's mali'.
The letter also calls out Vice Speaker Telena Nelson's bill to reclassify the prison's warden position. The bill would give Brennan the authority to handpick her own warden. That pick would serve as an unclassified political hire.
"It is very clear that Sen. Nelson is giving full support to Director Brennan, who has been here for 11 months. And not listening to those who have been in this department for twenty plus years," the letter says.
KUAM received a statement from Adelup: "Problems have persisted at DOC for years, so we are not surprised that there are strong institutional forces resistant to change. While no one can test the personal or political motivations of an anonymous letter, we expect our Directors to bring people together and lead. That said, strict whistleblower protections are already in existing in law, and the CSC exists to protect employee rights. All government employees should feel welcome to exercise their rights and file a formal complaint."
KUAM asked for a comment from Brennan regarding the letter, however, we did not receive a response. Brennan has previously told KUAM she does not do on-camera interviews, but she does not regularly respond to requests for information sent by text. Vice Speaker Nelson is holding part two of an oversight on the prison at 5 p.m. today.
The vice speaker did release a statement to KUAM regarding the letter. She said even if she wasn't personally given the letter, her office is looking into it.
"Although it was not received by or addressed to our office, but forwarded by members of the media," she said. "The letter submitted is not signed by anyone, therefore, we are unable to take accountable action."
Nelson is urging DOC workers to call, visit or email her office.