Seaport general manager Rory Respicio said today that his agency is concerned about what appears to be serious discrepancies in the legal billings that former legal counsel Mike Phillips submitted and was paid for in ratepayer funds.
"There have been serious questions over the past years about discrepancies in the legal billings provided to the Port under the previous contract," Respicio told Kandit News. "In fact, some of the allegations were that the billings were illegal and even contained the very serious accusations of potential bill padding and even billing for more than 24 hours in one day. These allegations are before the Attorney General and other bodies and due to the serious nature of the allegations concerning billings we are seeking further review to see what options, if any, the port has with regard to this matter. As such, we will be requesting the Attorney General’s Office and the Public Auditor for their immediate review to ensure that all laws and ethical guidelines were followed and that the money paid under the previous legal services contract was properly expended in the best interest of the ratepayers of Guam."
Attorney Mike Phillips was paid more than $7 Million by the port over a span of a few years to do legal work for the agency but most of his billings and money he made was on fighting the Port 7 cases. His legal billings have been the subject of repeated review and scrutiny by senators and even the Public Auditor. Respicio wants a close look at what appears to be allegations of illegal billing practices.
Numerous investigations remain ongoing into Attorney Mike Phillips including multiple ethics complaints filed by parties involved in the Port 7 litigation as well as a current Senator.