The following is news from the Office of Sen. Jim Moylan:
This morning Senator James C. Moylan introduced legislation to modernize Chapter 49 of Title 9, Guam Code Annotated; the statute associated with crimes related to governmental bribery, unlawful influence, official misconduct, and other related offenses.
Some of the highlighted amendments in the legislation being proposed include:
Stiffening some of the existing penalties, including for bribery which would move from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony, and official misconduct which would be a third-degree felony instead of a misdemeanor.
Including mandatory monetary fines for those convicted of any of the crimes associated with Chapter 49 of 9 GAR.
Including mandatory community service for those convicted of any of the crimes associated with Chapter 49 of 9 GAR.
Adding peace officers to a section currently in place for building inspectors, when it comes to a bribery offense, and making it a first-degree felony.
Creating a new subsection relative to the criminality associated with bid tampering.
Creating a new subsection relative to the criminality associated with obstructing investigations.
Establishing more clarity when it comes to the statute associated with Official Misconduct.
“We are constantly approached with constituents sharing their concerns on an array of incidents where a perception of public corruption may exist. It was vital that Guam’s statutes be modernized and mirrored with other jurisdictions which have established tough positions on crimes committed by public servants. This includes assuring that there are stiffer penalties, inclusive of hefty fines for those convicted. We need to make sure that if deals plead down, that those penalties aren’t watered down either.”, stated Senator Moylan. “The measure also
creates language which establishes criminality when it comes to bid tampering. With over $660 million in federal monies on island, and with procurement activity increasing, this was an important inclusion.”, added Senator Moylan.
“This legislation is more than just about modernizing an archaic statute associated with official misconduct or other abuses by those in public service, but rather it is also about sending out a strong message that public corruption WILL NOT be tolerated. That such crimes WILL NOT be taken lightly, and if convicted, the consequences shall be more than a slap on the wrist. The people of Guam deserve the right to trust their government, and hopefully this measure charts us in that direction. Obviously more needs to be done on the legal side, but we still need to enhance preventive measures, and for those small percentage of public servants who want to test the laws, hopefully stiffer penalties will be a deterrence.”, Senator Moylan also added.