EDITOR'S NOTE: Kandit, as promised, brings to you this chronological series on the Port 7 scandal. This story of public corruption and political intrigue is the largest and longest-running political witch hunt in the history of the government of Guam. The story begins during the first year of the Eddie Calvo administration in 2011, and continues to this day. We are producing this investigative piece because of the age of this story and the many twists and details involved.
CHAPTER 1: It started with the blow of a whistle
CHAPTER 2: 'I was sent here to fire you'
By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Shortly before 11:30 a.m., Thursday, September 22, 2011, Bernadette Meno entered the women's restroom on the second floor of the seaport's administration building, and slipped on the floor so quickly, she was airborne before landing on her back.
She limped to her office to tell her assistant, Jesse Aguigui, to call maintenance about a slippery film on the restroom floor that needed to be cleaned.
"Jesse, I just slipped in the bathroom and fell on my back," Ms. Meno told Mr. Aguigui.
"Boss, you have to report it to safety," Mr. Aguigui replied, referring to the seaport's safety office.
While Mr. Aguigui called the maintenance office, Ms. Meno documented the incident to safety office administrator Francisco Roberto in an email to him at 11:31 a.m. on that day:
"Hafa Adai Mr. Roberto
"Just to let you know that I slipped and fell inside the women's bathroom on the second floor Admin building. There is a very slippery film on the floor near the drain in the middle of the bathroom and when I stepped on it I slipped and my feet went airborne and I landed hard on the floor even trying to brace the fall with my arm. The fall left me sore on my legs, hip, back and my arm.
"After I left the bathroom I immediately told Jesse and asked him to get someone from facility in there to wipe down the floors to make it safe again. I took Josette inside and showed her the area and when she placed her shoe on it her shoe also slid. You can still see the marks on the floor from my shoes sliding across the area on the floor.
"Thank you, Bernadette."
Port maintenance supervisor Evelyn Bagoforo had the restroom cleaned while safety office worker Paul Salas took Ms. Meno's report of the incident.
The safety office and incident reports document these events, as well as Mr. Roberto's email response to Ms. Meno at 2:33 p.m. that same day memorializing actions taken in detail:
"Bernadette, I am so sorry about you slipping and falling in the bathroom. I sent Paul Salas to see the condition. I also spoke with Evelyn B. who oversees janitorial services for the admin bldg. She informed me that after the clean up of the bathroom the cleaner sprayed "Fabuloso". This chemical when sprayed over wet surface it will make the floor slippery for unsuspecting individual. Clorox mix 50/50 with water will clean the film and slippery condition once it dried up. Evelyn B. will have this done. Frank R." - 2:33 p.m. September 22, 2011 email reply from Frank Roberto to Bernadette Meno
"Thank you Mr. Roberto. Mr. Salas came by and took a report from me and he was very prompt and courteous. Thank you very much. Bernadette." - 2:34 p.m. September 22, 2011 email reply from Bernadette Meno to Frank Roberto
Keep a mental note as you follow this investigative report on the Port 7 Scandal: It wasn't until a year later that anyone knew who sprayed Fabuloso on the cleaned floors, as Mr. Roberto indicated happened that morning. Then-seaport deputy manager Anisia Terlaje would later confess to then-deputy chief of staff Rose Ramsey at the Governor's Office that she had sprayed the floor with the slippery substance moments before Ms. Meno entered the restroom.
Here are the undisputed and documented facts thus far:
Around 11 a.m. Thursday, September 22, 2011, following the cleaning of the women's restroom on the second floor of the seaport administration building, then-deputy GM Anisia Terlaje sprayed Fabuloso on the restroom floor, causing a slippery film to linger.
Between then and 11:30 a.m. that day, Bernadette Meno enters the restroom, slips, and falls on her back.
Her secretary, Jesse Aguigui informs the maintenance office, and Evelyn Bagoforo dispatches a worker to clean the restroom.
Ms. Meno emails port safety administrator Frank Roberto about the incident.
Paul Salas with Mr. Roberto's office takes Ms. Meno's official report on the incident.
Mr. Roberto replies to Ms. Meno's email with his apologies for what happened.