By Jacob Nakamura
Senator Jim Moylan is calling on the Executive Director of the Guam Legislature and his fellow colleagues to implement their adopted Drug Free Workplace Policy.
Moylan also said he will take a drug test along with his staff although he would not give a firm date on when they would be taking their drug tests. He also said the entire Legislature to include senators and staff will comply.
“I am glad to see it’s in the current standing rules and we are reviewing those now and we are going to monitor and they will advise us when the testing begins,” Moylan said. “Yes we are going to comply… and it should be sooner than later.”
The I Liheslaturan Guåhan DRUG FREE WORKPLACE POLICY was adopted by legislative resolution in 2013 and established the policy for the legislature. The policy was for the legislature as an entity and not directed to just the legislature that was in office for those two years. Because it was adopted in session unanimously and has never been repealed or replaced then the policy stands. In January of this year, Senators adopted their Standing Rules which also includes a Drug Free Workplace Policy and it calls for pre-employment testing drug testing, reasonable suspicion drug testing and voluntary testing.
Chirag M. Bhojwani, Director of Communications and Policy for Senator Tina Muna Barnes who oversees the Committee on Rules, told Kandit News yesterday that nobody was drug tested because “Our rules don’t require it as a condition of employment.”
We then pointed out to Bhojwani that there actually is a policy in place that requires it for the Legislature. Bhojwani then changed his excuse for why none of the senators and legislative employees were drug tested as a condition of employment as is required of all new government of Guam employees.
“Yes, the policy says that, but it’s never been funded,” Bhojwani said.
The Legislature’s Drug Free Workplace Policy states that “This program will be implemented and maintained by the Executive Director of I Liheslatura or any other person designated by the Chairperson of the Committee on Rules.”
Moylan said he will meet with Speaker Therese Terlaje and Rules Chair Senator Tina Muna Barnes to ensure the policy is enforced.
“Let’s follow our rules and regulations,” Moylan said.
Moylan also told Kandit News today that he would look into whether he should call for the resignation of Carlo Branch for failure to enforce the Drug Free Workplace Program but is hoping the new Executive Director will fully implement the policy to include the pre-employment drug screening of all 141 Legislative senators and staff.
As of today none of the senators and none of their staff and not one member of the Central Staff for the Legislature have taken a drug test despite the fact that they were all just hired in the last few weeks with the beginning of the new legislative term. The I Liheslaturan Guåhan DRUG FREE WORKPLACE POLICY states “Upon selection for employment with I Liheslatura Guahan, you must take and pass urinalysis testing for illegal use of drugs. All applicants/employees are responsible for all expenses incurred for this examination. Failure to submit to drug testing will result in immediate disqualification or disciplinary action.”
This means that all senators, including Senator Joanne Brown who has been so critical of the Port for their work to enforce the Port’s Drug Free Workplace Policy, is in fact violating her own Drug Free Workplace Policy. And because Senator Brown and her staff did not submit to a drug test prior to her new employment on January 4, 2021, Senator Brown is now subject to “immediate disqualification or disciplinary action.”
It should be noted that the I Liheslaturan Guåhan DRUG FREE WORKPLACE POLICY was adopted in 2013 following a drug raid at the house of two men who at that time were working for a senator in the Guam Legislature. Those two men still work at the Legislature and one of them holds a very powerful position. The drug raid in 2013 happened at the house of current Executive Director of the 36th Guam Legislature Carlo J. Branch. His roommate was arrested during the raid and is currently employed at the Office of Senator Jose Terlaje.