By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Governor's legal counsel Haig Huynh not only is practicing without a full license, he also acquired one of the most exclusive parcels of land on Guam and had not paid the taxes on it as of the publication earlier this year of the Public Notice of the 2018 Delinquent Tax Assessments.
According to Department of Revenue and Taxation director Dafne Mansapit-Shimizu, Mr. Huynh owes the Treasurer of Guam $396.90 for property listed as M19 T13102 L95. The parcel is within the super-rich and exclusive Talo Verde development along Ypao Road, Tamuning.
It is unclear why Mr. Huynh failed to pay his taxes, whether he's paid it since, or why his tax liability became delinquent. At the time of the tax assessment, Mr. Huynh was a well-paid associate general counsel of the Bank of Guam, where his mother-in-law, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, was the president and CEO at the time. The inability to get any information out of Adelup about this issue and others is just par for the course in Ms. Leon Guerrero's record of failure to be transparent about issues more controversial than proclamations and social events.
Kandit has asked Ms. Leon Guerrero's office whether she was aware that she hired her son-in-law as her legal counsel at a time, when he had no license whatsoever to practice law. Ms. Leon Guerrero's term began January 7, 2019. Mr. Huynh did not receive the reissuance of his temporary license to practice law from the Supreme Court until January 11, 2019.
Mr. Huynh received his temporary license on August 10, 2016, when he began working for the Public Defender Services Corporation. Guam law allows temporary licensure for five years to attorneys who haven't passed the Guam Bar examination and who will work for either the Attorney General's Office, the PDSC, or the Alternate Public Defender. Those with the temporary license are to serve full time in one of those agencies continuously.
A year later after he received his temporary license, he resigned from the PDSC to work as associate general counsel at the Bank of Guam, when his mother-in-law was the president and CEO of the bank. His duties included the daily provision of legal advice, which according to Guam law and laws throughout Micronesia and San Francisco, where the bank has branches, is either not ethical or not legal without full licensure.
Mr. Huynh was dispensing legal advice and acting as an attorney without any kind of license whatsoever until January 11, 2019. During that period he not only acted as an attorney for the bank's headquarters, he also constantly provided legal advice to Ms. Leon Guerrero's transition team between November 8, 2018 through the start of Ms. Leon Guerrero's term in office.
Not only has the Governor's Office refused to answer our questions on this, the Department of Administration still has not provided Kandit with Mr. Huynh's employment document, called a GG1. It is a public document. That fact has never stopped the Leon Guerrero administration from withholding documents that belong to the public, not to them.