By Troy Torres
Attorney General Leevin Camacho has hired ex-chief prosecutor Phil Tydingco back at the Guam attorney general's office, despite the major federal corruption case and raids of Mr. Tydingco's former office at Imperial Pacific International (CNMI), LLC.
"He was hired and will be working at the Department of Labor," AG's spokeswoman Carlina Charfauros said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, November 7, 2019, raided Mr. Tydingco's office in Saipan, where he was working as general counsel for the embattled casino. His was among several offices and residences raided by federal officials that day in a case that documents state involve public corruption, money laundering, wire fraud, and foreign interference in a United States election.
He reportedly resigned from the company a month later.
Mr. Tydingco also was a major financial contributor to the gubernatorial campaign of Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold Palacios. Mr. Torres's office and home were among those raided on November 7.
According to a disclosure by Mr. Camacho to the Guam Legislature, the attorney general hired Mr. Tydingco back at the AG's office starting June 29. His employment contract will end at the end of the fiscal year, on September 30, 2020. He will be paid an hourly rate of $42.82.
According to Ms. Charfauros, though, the AG's decision to hire Mr. Tydingco wasn't the AG's idea; it was director of labor David Dell Isola's choice. Mr. Dell Isola is part of Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's cabinet. The Tydingco family has contributed large sums of money to the campaigns of the governor and several Democrats.
"Guam Department of Labor had an immediate need for an attorney specifically for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program," Ms. Charfauros explained. "We were unable to provide them with a full time attorney dedicated to that program. They requested the assistance of Phil Tydingco and the hiring was facilitated by our office because DOL cannot hire its own attorney."
When asked why Mr. Dell Isola specifically asked for Mr. Camacho to hire Mr. Tydingco, she said, "I do not know. They requested his services because we could not immediately provide a full time attorney for the PUA program."