Port brouhaha continues

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Guam – ‘He said she said’ dating back to 2011 continues in the Port controversy, muddling details as to what exactly transpired prior to the firing of seven port employees.

But one thing is clear: the controversy has since stunted former Port board Chairman Dan Tydingco’s nomination to the Guam International Airport Authority Board.

It has now boiled down to a question of credibility, with one side of the coin accusing the other of false documentation and misleading statements.

On Newstalk K57’s Mornings with Patti, former port legal counsel Mike Phillips claimed that then port general manager, now Sen. Mary Torres, orchestrated a cover-up in the controversial case of Bernadette Stern Meno’s application for $40,000 more in workman’s compensation than what was allotted to the Port Authority.

“Everybody is asking why would everybody do these things for Bernadette Stern Meno,” Phillips said. “They didn’t. They did it because the general manager of the port said that this is what happened.”

“There was no order,” he continued. “There was no report and there was no submission to the WCC. Those representations needed to be corrected and that’s what those employees went off to do. They created forms and a report and what appeared to be an exchange with the WCC. None of that happened, but they had to make those statements true.”

Torres refuted Phillips’ claims on Newstalk K57 with Andrea Pellacani.

“It’s just so unfortunate that we have this attorney out there conducting himself in such a shameless way,” Torres said. “What hurts me so much is that it’s just flat out lies from somebody that’s just been bamboozling and raiding the port coffers all these years.”

But then Pellacani raised a question asked where the inquiry into the billing practices of Phillips’ office regarding the timeline of the Port 7 incident.

“It was clearly the billings because I was expressing concern about about the billings as early as March,” Torres said. “But to say that I orchestrated all of this and that [or] I ordered a cover up is just preposterous and I refuse to go down that road.”

At the end of the day, Torres asks what she would have had to gain if she did in fact orchestrate the alleged cover-up.

“I’ll tell you who wins,” Torres said. “Follow the money, follow the money, follow the salaries, follow the benefit.”

The case is nowhere near resolution, with no criminal charges succeeding in court against any of the parties involved.