By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) There always are multiple sides to a story, and the one about U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson behaving poorly at the airport as told by the governor has warranted a rare public statement from Mr. Anderson's office about himself.
In it, he informs the people of Guam that the governor's legal counsel - her son-in-law - Haig Huynh, whom we previously have reported does not have a full license to practice law on Guam, agreed to what Mr. Anderson was trying to do. Please read the following statement from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for Guam and the NMI.
(NOTE: This story continues below the statement with a message Congressman Michael San Nicolas posted on the matter)
Statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office:
“The U.S. Attorney was out of the country on personal travel. The travel did not include any CDC high risk countries. Attempts were made to reschedule an early return, but the cascade of flight cancellations prevented him from doing so. In the interim, he communicated remotely with the offices on Guam and Saipan, in addition to the Department of Justice and various working groups.
Upon arrival on Guam, he voluntarily disclosed his travel history and lack of COVID-19 symptoms. He was then presented with a purported contract to voluntarily self-quarantine at home. He declined to sign the document and informed all present that he also needed to work at his office. The Governor, through her counsel, agreed that this was acceptable.
The Governor’s letter has been forwarded to the Attorney General. The U.S. Attorney supports the Governor’s efforts to meet the ongoing challenges faced by Guam. The continuity of operations in the USAO also remains a high priority. The U.S Attorney is part of daily activities within the office. He will continue his work until further order by DOJ.
Attorney General Barr has tasked U.S. Attorneys nationwide to inform their state and local law enforcement partners that we need to ensure that local law enforcement officials enforcing travel restrictions are aware of the fact that federal employees must be allowed to travel and commute to perform law enforcement and other functions and should not be prevented from doing so, even when travel restrictions are in place. Law enforcement on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have been so informed. We look forward to working with our local partners to keep our communities safe during these difficult times.”
Prior to this statement's release, Congressman Michael San Nicolas came to the U.S. Attorney's defense, relaying to the governor exactly what Mr. Anderson's office relays in his message: federal law enforcement officers can travel. They have to, in order for the federal justice system to continue. Mr. Anderson is the top law enforcement official on Guam.
Here is Mr. San Nicolas's message on the matter:
"Governor you refused to reveal names of people quarantined because of privacy, and yet you violate the same in this instance to create a political maelstrom to distract from your overall response shortcomings. "Unacceptable Governor. "The U.S. Attorney has a role to play in making sure cases move timely and not violate speedy trial circumstances and other due process timelines. Test and monitor the U.S. Attorney, but do not impede the flow of federal jurisprudence... "...it makes it look like a mistrial at worse or an oversight of justice at best is the angle. Guam does not need that. "Let's make smart decisions for our island."