The village of Yona is without a mayor as Jesse Blas, who is behind bars, has resigned and already pleaded guilty to extortion.
And while the Guam Election Commission will be meeting next week to finalize the vacancy and determine how to move forward, the Office of the Attorney General has issued an opinion that could provide a different avenue for filling the vacancy.
A special election may not be necessary as the Office of the Attorney General says that the Legislature can determine the manner of filling vacancies in the municipal offices of mayor and vice-mayor.
In short, now that Yona Mayor Jesse Blas has stepped down from office, the Legislature has the authority to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy.
The OAG adds that the Legislature can do so without encroaching upon the governor’s power of appointment in the Organic Act.
Blas has been in custody for a little over four months, and up until now, he had maintained his innocence against allegations that he sold USPS cluster mailbox units at the Yona Mayor’s office to a person he believed was a drug smuggler who later turned out to be an FBI confidential informant.
Indicted on offenses related to extortion and bribery, Blas has agreed to enter a guilty plea to one count of extortion under color of official right.
Admitting that he used his official capacity as mayor to obtain money he was not entitled to receive, the government says he accepted $11,700 in total from the illegal activity.
The plea calls for the remaining 12 counts of extortion and bribery to be dismissed.
Blas is set to formally accept the deal next week Tuesday at 10 am.