Guam’s long-standing SHPO fired

Former SHPO Lynda Aguon is currently going through the appeals process with the Civil Service Commission.

Guam’s long-standing State Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon has been fired by the Department of Parks and Recreation director following personnel action taken against her.

The governor’s communications director, Janela Carrera, has confirmed that Aguon was served with a notice of final adverse action on Tuesday by DPR Director Richard Ybanez.

Carrera also tells PNC that the governor was not aware that the SHPO would be served with a notice of final adverse action at the time it occurred, but she is aware of it now as she heads back to the island from her trip.

According to Carrera, Ybanez will serve as acting SHPO until the governor appoints a new one. When asked if the governor had anyone in mind, Carrera said they will wait until she gets back.

On Newstalk K57 with Phill Leon Guerrero, Robert Koss from GFT, who is representing Aguon, said he thinks the termination is in response to Aguon filing a grievance and pushing back against the reassignment of a fellow employee under her supervision.

But is this termination also because Aguon has been very vocal against the military buildup? Koss says they do not have enough evidence yet, but they won’t rule that possibility out.

Koss will be filing several motions on three issues. Among them is the denial of due process and ignoring progressive discipline requirements.

Senator Therese Terlaje also sent out a statement in response to Aguon being fired stating: “I am deeply troubled by this recent move by the administration to dismiss the State Historic Preservation Officer in the midst of one of the largest construction projects in our recent history, including the bulldozing of 5000 acres of limestone forest and numerous historic sites.”

Terlaje added: “To put someone inexperienced in an acting capacity leaves Guam vulnerable to further bulldozing of historic sites and leaves Guam voiceless during a critical period of potential harm to our culture and our environment.”