Aguon back at Parks & Rec; AG disagrees with CSC decision

Lynda Aguon's termination from her position as State Historic Preservation Officer was overturned by the Civil Service Commission on the "Rule of 4" technicality.

Lynda Aguon returned to work today at the Department of Parks and Recreation office at the Paseo.

Last night, the Civil Service Commission reinstated Aguon to her classified position, overturning Parks and Rec’s decision last year to fire her.

However, that hasn’t altered the Attorney General’s opinion that Aguon’s termination still stands.

Lynda Aguon’s termination from her position as State Historic Preservation Officer was overturned by the Civil Service Commission on the “Rule of 4” technicality.

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Administrative law judge Eric Miller concluded that “management proved by clear and convincing evidence that employee Lynda Aguon was insubordinate … severe enough to justify the personnel action of termination.”

Three of the four commissioners present during the Jan. 16 hearing agreed to uphold her termination, but the fourth commissioner did not.

Four commissioners need to agree on any adverse action.

Atty. John Bell, Aguon’s lawyer, said the commission’s decision was based on the Rule of 4.

Bell told K-57’s Patti Arroyo Wednesday morning that “four commissioners could not agree that management did the right thing. Therefore management loses,” he said.

When asked whether management would appeal, Bell answered: “They would just be second-guessing the commissioners and I don’t think they have a solid basis to do that.”

However, the Attorney General’s Office disagrees.

AGO spokeswoman Carlina Charfauros told PNC News that the AG’s position is that the Civil Service Commission acted outside their authority.

She said that’s why assistant attorney general Donna Lawrence, who defended Parks and Rec director Richard Ybanez’s decision to fire Aguon, filed a separate motion with the CSC making that case.

“In that motion, we argue that because they didn’t come to a unanimous vote, they didn’t accept, reject or modify the ALJ’s decision,” Charfauros said.

She added: “What we’re arguing is that it is a decision and it is final because the board did not accept, reject, or modify it and they didn’t adjourn.”

When asked what the next step was for the AG, Charfauros said that has not yet been announced.

As for Aguon, she is back at the Department of Parks and Recreation, but she has not resumed her former title as State Historic Preservation Officer. Patrick Lujan replaced Aguon as the SHPO after she was fired last June and he remains in that position.

It is a position that requires federal approval and is outside the Civil Service Commission’s regulatory authority.

Aguon is only the Guam historic preservation officer, a different title and position, but a classified GovGuam position.

However, Aguon will no longer have the authority to make any modification to the programmatic agreement governing the military buildup. That authority rests with the SHPO who continues to be Patrick Lujan.