Arguments made in GHURA board misconduct case

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Guam – Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority board officials are asserting that nothing illegal transpired during the alleged secret meetings that are now the subject of a criminal case.

The seven named in the case are Executive Director Mike Duenas, Board Chairman Dave Sablan and current and former board members Rosie Blas, John Ilao, Deanne Torre, Cecile Suda and Roland Selvidge.

The court addressed motions to sever filed by Torre and Ilao. Their attorneys both argued that prejudice would exist if their clients were tried along with the other co-defendants.

While Torre’s attorney, Jay Arriola, shared that trial for his client would only last about a week, Ilao’s attorney noted that his trial would last one day, citing his client’s minimal involvement in the alleged conspiracy which he argued warranted severance from the other defendants.

Ilao’s attorney further argued that guilt would spill over onto his client, adding that Illao would have to sit through three years of evidence before the trial would be relevant to his client.

Also addresed were motions to dismiss the case against Torre, Selvidge, Illao and Blas.

Arriola argued dismissal on the basis that the meetings which were allegedly held in “secret” were work sessions and that no voting or decisions were made, therefore no violation occurred.

Arriola added that because work session do not need to be announced to the public, there was no violation of the Open Government law.

The prosecution, however, countered that Selvidge had admitted to the FBI that voting did occur. This brought up the issue of the defense’s supposed inability to cross examine the FBI as the evidence offered is a report.

Selvidge, Ilao and Blas’s legal counsels joined together in arguing that the government lawyers were present at the meetings and that they were under the impression that everything was legal because of the legal counsel’s presence.

However, the proseuction disagreed and says that the attorney’s presence goes straight to the intent and deliberate ignorance.

Judge Anita Sukola has taken all matters under advisement.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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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.