A verdict has been reached in the GHURA open government case involving three out of six GHURA executives indicted on misdemeanor charges of conspiring to violate open government law and official misconduct.
At 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, following less than a day of deliberations, the 6-panel jury in the GHURA case reached a verdict of not guilty for defendants David J. Sablan, Cecile Suda, and Roland Selvige.
Outside the courtroom, while PNC wasn’t able to get a comment from Suda or Selvidge, Sablan did take a few minutes to share his reactions to closing the case which has played out for two years.
“Well, I have always felt that what we did when I served on the GHURA board was for the benefit of the people of Guam. And I never believed that we ever did anything wrong. So I am very pleased with the verdict that came out. And I felt very comfortable from the beginning, actually when the trial began, that the evidence would clearly show that we didn’t do anything wrong,” Sablan said.
The case revolved around the board members’ role in the conducting of working sessions — dubbed secret meetings by the prosecution — pertaining to the awarding of low-income housing tax credits in 2011 and the ratification of a credit card policy in 2015. It should be noted that Suda was not a part of the board in 2015.
The verdict in this case raises the question: Will the case of Deane Torre and John Ilao, the other defendants, move forward with trial? They were also indicted in the same conspiracy but had their cases severed from the rest of the defendants.