By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Port authority board of directors member Anthony "Tony" Chargualaf, Jr. is trading his allegiance to the people of Guam in exchange for the loyalties that now bind him to the same political BS that breeds corruption.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero appointed Mr. Chargualaf to be a member of the seaport's public board of directors this year. He recently became a candidate for mayor of Inarajan; the election is next year.
Kandit has been aware of and has requested official copies of publicly-disclosable emails and phone records between Mr. Chargualaf and former seaport legal counsel Mike Phillips. The source copies we have received and forwarded to law enforcement authorities show communications between Mr. Phillips and Mr. Chargualaf to distort the ongoing process of rectifying the wrongful terminations of seven seaport employees in 2012, and to push the government of Guam into years of further litigation at the expense of taxpayers.
Connie Jo "Liberty" Brennan Shinohara
But he isn't the only seaport official involved in the conspiracy. Connie Jo Brennan Shinohara, who was designated by Ms. Leon Guerrero to lead a task force that will determine what to do about the government's crimes against the seven workers, also has been in active communication with Mr. Phillips and the seaport's former chairwoman, Dan "The Little Man" Tydingco. Port general manager Rory Respicio recused himself from the inquiry, disclosing a conflict of interest to Ms. Leon Guerrero and to the public early on.
But Ms. Shinohara did not reveal her own conflict of interest once she began communicating with Mr. Phillips on the case. Mr. Phillips was her attorney, when she was facing criminal investigations of corruption by the Federal Bureau of Investigation following her roles in the Gutierrez administration. Ms. Shinohara ended up testifying against her future brother-in-law, the late former Sen. Austin "Sonny" Shelton, who was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for crimes of corruption in 2002.
Sources reveal that Mr. Phillips and Mr. Tydingco, who have no business left at the seaport but a vendetta they have scheduled against the seven fired workers, have been communicating with Ms. Shinohara and Mr. Chargualaf to prevent the board of directors from ratifying action in favor of the workers.
Mr. Chargualaf has been receiving assistance from Mr. Phillips's cronies for his campaign for mayor of Inarajan. In return, Mr. Chargualaf has abused his position in an attempt to pressure management and the board to appeal the recent Civil Service Commission ruling that will restore fired worker Francine Rocio to her position and provide her backpay. Such a decision would throw the seaport and the fired workers into years of litigation. The Rocio case is pivotal to the end of this long and sordid saga for the so-called Port 7. The CSC reversed the seaport's 2012 firing of her based on the date of the adverse action given to her and the content of the adverse action itself.
Every one of the fired workers received their adverse action on the same date. All of the actions were template-written. This means that Ms. Rocio's ruling will soon be followed by identical reversals in favor of the other fired workers. An appeal of the ruling in the Superior Court of Guam will stop all of that from happening.
In politics, integrity is for sale to the highest bidder. But we suppose it wasn't integrity at all if you swap truth for injustice.