Guam – The private attorney representing the Federal Receiver in the Ordot Consent Decree case wants the District Court to reject a motion from the Administration’s private attorney to vacate payments to the Receiver, GBB.
Attorney Joyce Tang accuses her counterpart Rawlen Mantanona of making “a number of incorrect statements” in his request for an order vacating the Court’s prior approval of payments to the Receiver.
1. In particular, Tang challanges Mantanona’s assertion that “[i]t has become undisputed that a $92 million financial shortfall exists in funding the remaining Consent Decree projects.”
* Response of Receiver: “This is not true; the only undisputed shortfall relates to the unfunded projects imposed by the Government (not the Consent Decree) totaling $19.9 million. ”
2. Tang also disputes Mantanona’s charge that the Receiver misrepresented the truth when, in a media statement, GBB Principal Associate David Manning said “[a]ll spending by the Receiver on behalf of GSWA are submitted to the Government before the expenditures made and they are given an opportunity to object.the Government did not receive the invoices before the expenditures were made and the Government was not given any opportunity to object.”
Mantanona called “this media statement made by the Receiver … a misrepresentation because, in truth, the Government did not receive the invoices before the expenditures were made and the Government was not given any opportunity to object.”
* Response of Receiver: “Mr. Manning’s statements, which pertained to the disbursement procedure with its requirements for prior review by Guam Officials, were correct. It is clear that Mr. Manning’s statement … above refers specifically to GSWA expenses which are paid by the Receiver in accordance with the 3/10/09 Order Re: Disbursement Procedures. “
“Additionally, the Government of Guam cannot be heard to complain about the Receiver’s management of the bond proceeds because various Government of Guam entities have the ability to review and object to payments before the Receiver makes disbursements … once the Receiver approves an invoice for payment, the Receiver is required to prepare a payment requisition and forward the approved invoice and requisition to the Government of Guam to review the documentation and file with the Receiver any written objection it may have to the payment. … The Government of Guam has never communicated any objection to the Receiver under the process set forth in the Disbursement Procedures.”
3. Tang then cites Mantanona’s complaint that “[d]espite the explicit requirement of this Court’s March 17, 2008 Order, the Government never received a copy of these invoices for October 2013, let alone at least two weeks in advance of the Court’s decision to determine their ‘reasonableness’ and order payment thereon.” Motion at 4. As a consequence, the Government’s right to due process has been infringed upon.”
* Response of Receiver: “First, the Government has misstated the … Order. The Government does not act for the Court. It is the Court which determines whether the Receiver’s invoice is reasonable, and it is the Court that has … 13 days … to review the request for reasonableness, and … 5 days thereafter to approve payment. The … Order clearly states that the Government is to receive a copy of the invoices when it is “filed” with the Court.” Based on the electronic mailing list provided by the District Court of Guam’s ECF System, Mr. Mantanona and Ms. Sandra Miller (the Governor’s counsel) received electronic service of the Receiver’s Invoices at the same time it was filed with the Court.”
“The Receiver has complied with the Court’s … Order Re compensation and the Government’s right to due process has not been infringed upon”, concludes Tang.
4. Mantanona also complained that the billings filed by Chace Anderson, David Manning and Chris Lund are “the same nondescript statements” which are “repetitive and verbatim over the span of several weeks” and include “vague, voluminous half-page blocks of text”.
* Response of Receiver: “The tasks involve operations and management on a daily basis, and it would be entirely too cumbersome and difficult to enumerate each call he makes, every document and email he reviews and responds to. Likewise, Mr. Manning’s daily work is similar … It is not unreasonable for Receiver Team members to summarize their tasks in this manner … The allegations of block billing and vague billing are baseless and should be rejected. ”