Guam – DOC Director Tony Lamorena has stated that a lack of funding to address a dilapidated Hagatna Detention facility was the underlying cause in the death of DOC Detainee Manson Ernest, and now it is alleged that the department is pointing the finger at 4 DOC officers who allegedly let their guard down.
Four of the seven DOC officers who were handed notices of proposed adverse action following the death of DOC detainee Manson Ernest are alleging that they are being made the “scapegoat for the agency in order to cover up the dire funding needs for maintenance of the facility.”
According to the GFT, who represent the four, all officers on duty during the beating of Ernest were “rookie” officers who were improperly assigned to the Hagatna Detention Facility. Further stating, ” it is impossible and improper to hold rookie officers assigned to the FDF to the standard of, proper conduct of the affairs because the detention facility has fallen into such a state of dilapidation and disrepair that it is no longer well suited or functional for its intended purpose and cannot be operated in accordance to protocol.”
DOC Director Tony Lamorena has stated to media that there were issues with the plumbing at the facility at the time of Ernest’s death. GFT agrees with DOC’s stance that the maintenance problems are the underlying factor attributing to the death of Ernest however, they contend that “there is no information that would suggest that any officer acted intentionally, recklessly, or negligently or acted or contributed in any way to the death of the inmate.”