Investigative committee to look into allegations of government corruption

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Legislature seal. (PNC file photo)

Guam –  On the heels of allegations of corruption involving various government agencies and their department heads, Senator Dennis Rodriguez has taken a step towards accountability and justice by establishing the first special investigative committee in years.

“More and more – as people in the public and public officials themselves come forward, the once-dark places in this government will be brought to light, and everyone will be better for it,” stated Senator Dennis Rodriguez.

With eight affirmative votes, Rodriguez now has legislative authority to convene the investigation into Guam Memorial Hospital and to appoint three Republicans and three Democrats to sit on this committee.

Rodriguez last night confirmed the following appointments:

Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., co-chairman
Sen. Mary Torres – co-chairwoman
Sen. Joe San Agustin
Sen. Michael San Nicolas
Sen. Fernando Esteves
A sixth seat is pending appointment.

Rodriguez extended a debt of gratitude to the senator for having the courge to take on government corruption. He will be convening the committee’s first meeting within the next two weeks, with proper notice according to the Open Government Law. He shared this K57’s Andrea Pellicani Show.

“We will be meeting once impaneled want to make it clear we are not criminal investigators some beyond scope, said the Senator. “This won’t be easy, and some people won’t be happy, but it must be done. This is our hospital we’re talking about.”
While he has not received a copy of the CMS report and has yet to speak to GMH,” continued Rodriguez.

He stated that “if CMS pulls certification, I can guarantee that if I’m elected governor none of the hospital executive management team will have anything to do with GMH, and they will all be placed under investigation by an inspector general for their hand in ruining GMH. If Governor Calvo won’t do anything to hold these people accountable, then the people can take comfort that they’ve only got a few months left to endure these failures.”

{SOT DROD on Andrea’s show}
0254 “It took the courage of Doctor Shimabukuro to come forward…what the creation does is opens the door for more information in an independent matter. A group of senators fair, transparent and impartial can obtain help outside to aide in the scope of what the investigation is. I am kind of disappointed when Doctor Kouze came out…she was called liar. The responsible thing to do would have been an internal investigation not come out and punish her. It puts fear for those who want to come forward,” said Rodriguez.

Senator Rodriguez says that the investigative committee will provide the avenue of subpoena power to help those who may fear coming forward. Adding that the CMS Report will be added to the investigation once it is finalized.

“We are going to have legal counsel guide us through process, we need to ensure even those accused have fair shot to respond to allegations,” explained the Senator.

The Hospital isn’t the only government entity under scrutiny, the investigation will also look into allegations made against the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and the Guam Police Department.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.