By Johnnie Rosario
(Anigua, Guam) Around 6 p.m., tonight, October 10, the Civil Service Commission decided to begin the ending chapter of a seven-year nightmare that seven wrongfully-fired Port Authority workers have suffered through together.
Tonight, commissioners unanimously adopted Administrative Law Judge Eric Miller's recommendation to overturn the Port's firing of Francine Rocio. Ms. Rocio was the Port's human resources administrator at the time of her filing. She and six other workers were wrongfully terminated on the same date and with the same template charges.
Mr. Miller's recommendation was for the commission to rule that the Port had 1) served Ms. Rocio her adverse action three days past the deadline, and 2) never actually explained in the charges what Ms. Rocio is accused of doing wrong.
The reasons given for overturning the adverse action applies to the other six workers, it stands to reason, because they all were fired on the same day and for the same exact reasons.
The workers were fired December 12, 2012 and dragged through the mud over seven years of misinformation and litigation stemming from the the Port's refusal to pay its former marketing administrator Bernadette Meno workers compensation for a back injury she suffered on the job.
Former Governor Eddie Calvo, members of his senior staff, four of the five members of the Port board at the time, and Port management conspired to have Ms. Meno and her colleagues fired for political reasons. Attorney Mike Phillips, former Port legal counsel who racked up $7 million in legal fees, and former Port Beluga Joanne Brown, who received 11 illegal pay raises during her tenure as general manager, led the operation against Ms. Meno and her colleagues.
Interestingly, the seven were co-workers who hardly saw each other outside the office when they worked together. Now, they are inseparable friends who have banded together and endured unprecedented odds against them.
The Federal government is investigating the matter.