Closing arguments in GHURA trial

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Did former GHURA board chairman David Sablan, Cecile Suda and Roland Selvidge violate open government law and commit official misconduct when working sessions or alleged “secret meetings” were held in the awarding of low-income housing tax credits and the ratification of a credit card policy?

Well, that will be up to six jurors who will begin deliberations in the case tomorrow.

Closing arguments were held this afternoon in the GHURA conspiracy case and one thing the defense stressed was that the GHURA board was acting on advice provided to them by legal counsel.

The government, in closing, stressed the awarding of the low-income housing tax credits, alluding to the board having already come to a decision.

“To award over $1 million of the 2011 tax credits and to commit in 2012 over $1.4 million no discussion, … it just suddenly appears,” Prosecutor Basil O’Mallen said.

Cecile Suda’s attorney, Curtis Van de Veld, contends otherwise in his closing statement.

“All of this is being discussed in an open meeting for the very first time. And you could tell it’s for the first time from the content of the discussion,” Van de Veld said.

Meanwhile, David Sablan’s attorney Samuel Teker stressed that there was no criminal intent on the board’s part and that the evidence supporting this lies in the communication supporting the claims that the board acted on GHURA’s legal counsel’s advisement.

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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.