Muna may need to pay back $4K in Carrera's wages

Lynette Okada Muna, Governor's Office certifying officer

By Johnnie Rosario

(Tumon, Guam) The government officials who conspired to falsify Janela Carrera's timesheets and leave forms for two paid vacations she illegally took could face numerous criminal counts for violating several laws.

Accountability of Disbursing and Certifying Officers law (Ch. 14, 4GCA)

But it's the person, who certified the funds that led to her paycheck based on those timesheets, who is on the hook for more than $4,000 in gross pay that may need to be returned to taxpayers.

Lynette Okada Muna, on July 3, July 17, and September 26, signed Ms. Carrera's time sheets, certifying that she had worked regular hours all 80 hours in each of the three pay periods covered by the time sheets (the July 17 time sheet included eight hours of pay for the July 4 holiday). The problem, as Kandit continues to report, is that out of the total 240 hours represented in those time sheets, Ms. Carrera was not in Guam for 112 of those hours.

She was on two personal vacations; one from June 26 to July 9, and the other from September 16 to September 20, 2019.

Ms. Carrera falsified her time sheets covering these periods. Adelup's timekeeper, Antonio Benavente, certified that Ms. Carrera was at her desk on the job during those hours. And governor's chief of staff Anthony Babauta and deputy chief of staff Jon Junior Calvo attested to and approved the time sheets. All of them face criminal and civil liability, if authorities investigate and bring charges.

But it is Ms. Muna, who certified to the Department of Administration Payroll Division that Ms. Carrera's time sheets were true and correct, and that she should be paid for all the hours marked as worked.

As a result of Ms. Muna's certification, the Treasurer of Guam issued Ms. Carrera three payroll checks for which more than $4,000 of gross pay was illegally paid to Ms. Carrera for the 112 hours she did not actually work.

Guam law says that Ms. Muna is responsible for paying this money back:

"A certifying officer shall be required to make restitution to the government of Guam for the amount of any illegal, improper or incorrect payment resulting from any false, inaccurate or misleading certificates made by the certifying officer, as well as for any payment prohibited by law or which did not represent a legal obligation under the appropriation or fund involved." - §14109(2), Ch. 14, 4GCA

But Ms. Carrera's co-conspirators may not be off the hook. The law goes on to state that more than one person may be held liable, "because more than one person was negligent: the employee whose error caused the loss and the supervisor who entrusted funds to an unqualified employee."

Kandit brought this matter to Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz and Attorney General Leevin Camacho in a criminal complaint sent Wednesday.

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