GEB’s New Legal Counsel Starts Investigation Into Allegations Against Superintendent

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Gary Gumatatao says it will only take them up to two weeks to complete the internal investigation.

Guam – The internal investigation into the sexual harassment allegations made against Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez officially started Monday.

 

The Guam Education Board’s new legal counsel Gary Gumatatao and William Pole will be conducting the investigation. Just last week, after the Attorney General declined to conduct the investigation citing a conflict of interest, Board Member Ken Chargualaf then said they would then be asking another agency to conduct the investigation, either the University of Guam, the Guam Community College, or the Department of Administration.
 
However, now that the board has acquired legal counsel, Attorney Gumatatao explains that they will do an in depth internal investigation into the matter to see if there were any violations of any administrative policy or procedure in addition to any type of violation that might rise to the level of a criminal investigation. That means, Gumatatao explains, that they will take a look at all the documents, meet and interview people involved, make them write statements and present their report to the board. Gumataotao emphasizes that they will not make any decision because that is the board’s responsibility. Gumatatao says he hopes to complete the investigation in a week or two.
 
Last week both the GDOE Chairwoman and Acting GDOE Superintendent Joe Sanchez issued memos reminding all division heads and school administrators that Superintendent John Fernandez is not to communicate with any GDOE employee student, deputy superintendent, legal counsel, EMRO, division heads and school administrators while he is on administrative leave. Fernandez was placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal and external investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed a student at J.P. Torres. Fernandez has denied these allegations and has filed a complaint of his own alleging blackmail and extortion.