AG Has “Serious Concerns” About Medical Referral Contract; “We Will Investigate”

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Guam – Controversy is growing over a $2.7 million dollar medical referral contract awarded to former Calvo-Tenorio Campaign attorney Tom Fisher, who is listed on the contract as the owner of Guam Medical Services.

The Guam Medical Referral Office is a division of the Office of the Governor and provides off island medical services to Guam residents seeking treatment in Hawaii, the Philippines or California.

Fisher is the former legal counsel for the Calvo-Tenorio Campaign and the former law partner of Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio’s wife , Attorney Naoko Shimizu.

An August 2 memorandum, and the contract itself, obtained by PNC News, show that Acting BBMR Director John Rios wrote to the Attorney General seeking a review of the contract.

But a statement issued by the Attorney General Friday says they didn’t get the contract that the Rios memo states was sent to them. The AG statement reads:

“It has been mistakenly reported that the Office of the Attorney General is in possession of the Medical Referral Service contract between the government of Guam and Attorney Thomas Fisher’s company.  That is incorrect.  No such contract has yet been received by our office.”

READ the Memorandum from BBMR to the Attorney General, and the contract attached to it, which the AG says they did not receive

In Rios’ memorandum, which he signed, the Acting BBMR Director asks the AG to review the contract. The contract is signed by Fischer and the Governor’s Chief of Staff Frank Arriola, but it is not signed by the Attorney General.

In his memo, Rios asks the AG to notify him if there “should be legal improprieties with the subject request, so that the Bureau may rescind its clearance.”

The term of the contract is for 1 year with annual renewal options for an additional 4 years at $540,000 each year for a total contract value of $2.7 million dollars .

PNC News contacted Attorney Fisher on Wednesday. He declined comment at that time because the contract is still the subject of procurement and it has not been signed by all the parties yet.

Yesterday [Thursday], the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Frank Arriola said during a news conference that Fisher has already set up his office and begun work under the terms of the contract.

But, the AG’s statment points out that “under the law, a procurement contract that includes the signatures of the Attorney General of Guam and the Governor of Guam must be executed in order for that contract to be valid and enforceable.”

And it goes onto to state that  “the law is … clear that all procurement solicitations and contracts whose value is estimated to result in an award of $500,000 or more requires the involvement of the Office of the Attorney General or its designees to act as legal advisor during all phases of the solicitation or procurement process to review for legality.”

The AG concludes by stateing: “The Office of the Attorney General considers the circumstances reportedly surrounding the procurement of the Medical Referral Services as raising serious concerns about non-compliance with the law, and we will investigate the matter.”

READ the AG’s statement in FULL below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Guam-August 05, 2011-It has been mistakenly reported that the Office of the Attorney General is in possession of the Medical Referral Service contract between the government of Guam and Attorney Thomas Fisher’s company.  That is incorrect.  No such contract has yet been received by our office.  It should also be noted that under the law, a procurement contract that includes the signatures of the Attorney General of Guam and the Governor of Guam must be executed in order for that contract to be valid and enforceable.  The Office of the Attorney General does not agree that the signatures of the Attorney General of Guam and the Governor of Guam on government contracts are pro forma.  Their signatures on contracts are not mere formalities and have legal significance under the law.  The law is also clear that all procurement solicitations and contracts whose value is estimated to result in an award of $500,000 or more requires the involvement of the Office of the Attorney General or its designees to act as legal advisor during all phases of the solicitation or procurement process to review for legality. The Office of the Attorney General considers the circumstances reportedly surrounding the procurement of the Medical Referral Services as raising serious concerns about non-compliance with the law, and we will investigate the matter.