Acting mayor for Yona may be appointed

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Former Yona mayor Jesse Blas

With the Yona mayor behind bars after having been deemed by the District Court of Guam as a danger to the community following his arrest and indictment on extortion and bribery crimes, the question has been raised: what will happen next?

Yona Mayor Jesse Blas was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals to await the adjudication of his federal case in which he is accused of using his official capacity as mayor for personal gain by making deals with a woman identified as Brenda who posed as a drug trafficker interested in opening a post office box at the Yona Cluster Box Units.

His arrest has left the village of Yona without a mayor and as Mayors’ Council of Guam Executive Director Angel Sablan shared with K57’s Andrea Pellacani, there are statutes in place which lay out what could happen next.

“There is a provision in our statute that if the Mayor is not there for 30 days there has to be an appointment made as an acting mayor,” Sablan said.

He added: “But if anything happens, if there is a conviction of Mayor Blas, then he is automatically removed from office and if it’s 240 days out from the general election next year, then there will be a special election.”

In the meantime, because Yona is without a vice mayor, MCOG president and Dededo mayor Melissa Savories is lending a helping hand to the Yona community in helping with operations at the mayor’s office. Sablan says the MCOG is also available to assist the people of Yona.

Prior to Blas being led in handcuffs into the District Court of Guam Tuesday afternoon, PNC received a report from a Yona resident that the Yona mayor’s office was cordoned off with yellow crime tape and law enforcement was swarming the area at around 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

Sablan says when federal authorities raided the Yona mayor’s office, they took computers, hard drives, files, and official vehicles.

“The employees up there are at a loss. They really don’t know what to do. And of course, the office still has to function. They still have to do mayor’s verification files on people and without those computers its really hard to operate,” Sablan said.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.