Guam Education Board Asks AG to Conduct Investigation of GDOE Superintendent

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Meanwhile, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez is taking 20 days paid administrative leave.

Guam – The Guam Education Board is going to ask the Attorney General’s Office to assist them in conducting an investigation into the sexual allegations made against the Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez.

 

GEB Acting Chairwoman Rosie Tainatongo says, “What we’re doing is I’m going to be one to request the AG if they can come in and assist us and do an investigation. Because what we did, I do not call it an investigation, I call it fact-finding only to try and do mediation. What’s happening is the Superintendent did file a complaint with the GPD, the AG, and the FBI. The complainant did file with GPD but we have not concluded anything with the investigation. It’s still ongoing.”

Tainatongo why they asked the AG to step in? Tainatongo explains, “What’s happening right now is that the board doesn’t have their own attorney so we’re working on that right now. We just wanted to make sure that another eye comes in and look at it. The police are already looking into it. They started their investigation.”

 
This decision follows the special meeting held this morning.

Fernandez says, “Today I requested the board to convene for a meeting. The reason I requested it is because there’s a continuing investigation into the allegations made against me.”

After completing a week of annual leave, Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez requested for additional leave this morning, this time, for administrative leave. Fernandez requested from the board that he be placed on administrative leave until the investigation into the sexual harassment complaint against him has concluded.

“I believe that with all the questions and issues arising around the allegations towards me, I thought it was in the best interest of the department to be able to have me go on administrative leave, allow the board and GPD to continue and complete their investigations, and then once those are resolved, we’ll be happy to meet with the board and determine the next steps,” says Fernandez.

The board approved his request, granting Fernandez up to 20 days of paid administrative leave starting Monday July 18. Meanwhile, Fernandez says he maintains that the complaints against him do not have merit and he wants to ensure the integrity of the Board’s actions, intentions, and decisions.

He says, “I’m satisfied with that. If there is a need to shorten or extend it, I’m sure they’ll let me know and we’ll convene again so they can take their actions in the same public and transparent way they did today.”

As for GDOE’s budget hearing held yesterday where lawmakers scolded the board for Fernandez’s absense, Fernandez says he believed his team was ready to present with or without him. He says, “I took that extra time to prepare the team to be able to understand and ensure that they were ready for questions and answers that came up. I think they were prepared. We have a strong management team here. It’s not about one person in the department. I think they did a great job explaining a complicated budget and I’m open to answering any other questions if that is required of me.”

Fernandez explains that GDOE should now focus on the opening of the school year.