Pangelinan Questions Roberto About 24 Hour “Seperation” From Public Health Department

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Guam – Public Health Director Pete Roberto drew an admonition from Senator Ben Pangelinan this morning at Roberto’s re-confirmation hearing.

The re-confirmation hearing before the legislature this morning was brought on by an opinion from the Guam Attorney General which advised that since Roberto briefly resigned for the purpose of taking a lump sum payment from his retirement, he must be reconfirmed by the legislature.

Budget Committee Chair Senator Ben Pangelinan questioned Roberto about his resignation asking whether all the rules had been followed.

Roberto said, “Yes. I followed the guidance of the DOA.” The Public Health Director said “The intent was to take the lump sum of the annual leave that I had already earned. “

Under further questioning from Pangelinan Roberto said he did not touch his retirement, and that he did not actual resign. “It wasn’t a resignation,” he said. He described it as a “separation” for the purpose of withdrawing the lump sum and the getting reinstated. His separation he said lasted only 24 hours.

“I was informed to take out the accrued leave … and that’s what I did.”

Senator Panaglein said “I want to make sure that if there is a special provision” that allowed Roberto to “separate” in order to cash out his leave,  “that everyone knows about this. If you were guided by DOA, than I want to make sure that everyone knows about,” said Pangelinan.