The not guilty verdict on all counts for three of the defendants in the GHURA trial has raised some questions about how the case will move forward for the remaining defendants who still have to stand trial separately.
When the indictment was originally handed down, it named six GHURA board members and executives.
At the top was board chairman David Sablan, board members Cecile Suda, Roland Selvidge, John Ilao, Deanne Torre, and executive director Michael Duenas.
Duenas was the only one to take a deal from the government, pleading guilty to official misconduct as a misdemeanor.
This leaves John llao and Deanne Torre next in line for a trial. But the not guilty verdict handed down Thursday raises the question of whether there will still be a trial for John Ilao and Deanne Torre or could the charges be dismissed?
To find out, PNC spoke with Suda’s attorney, Curtis Van de Veld, who says it’s at the discretion of Attorney General Leevin Camacho whether or not to follow through with prosecution of the other board members.
“I am unable to forecast what he will decide. However, I hope that he will make a proper decision and decide not to proceed any further in these prosecutions,” Van de Veld said.
The trial also raises another question: Why was Duenas indicted and not former GHURA executive director Marcel Camacho who held the position in 2011?
Coming out of the two-year ordeal, Sablan, whose attorney Samuel Teker raised the concern, offered his opinion stating that it’s management’s responsibility to ensure that the requirements of open government law are fulfilled.
“So if there was anything problematic about how we conducted ourselves, it would actually fall to the management of GHURA and I don’t know if the Attorney General is going to pursue this or not, but that’s his prerogative,” Sablan said.
PNC files indicate that it was Camacho who alerted federal authorities towards irregularities in the handling of the low-income housing tax credit allocations.