Respicio: CSC ordered reinstatement of Rocio

Port General Manager Rory J. Respicio (PNC file photo)
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The resignation of Connie Shinohara comes following the recent reinstatement of Francine Rocio to her former position at the port, with back pay.

Rocio was one of the Port 7 employees fired eight years ago over an allegedly fraudulent worker compensation claim filed.

At the start of this year, Port Authority of Guam general manager Rory Respicio appointed Connie Shinohara to review the cases of 13 employees terminated under the prior port management, including the “Port Seven” cases of which Francine Rocio was a part of.

Respicio has consistently said he was not directly involved with Shinohara’s review of any of the re-evaluations of the former port employees including Rocio who has now returned to her former position as port human resources manager at the port.

Rocio was fired after she allegedly ordered one of her employees to backdate documents in former port marketing manager Bernadette Stern Meno’s personnel file.

As with the other Port Seven cases, Rocio appealed her termination on the grounds that she was not fired within the 60-day window then required for management to take action against an employee.

The Civil Service Commission never reviewed the merits of the allegations against her. Respicio told reporters today that he was ordered by the CSC to reinstate Rocio.

“So she was reinstated pursuant to this new law that she gets reinstated no matter what the next steps are,” Respicio said, adding that she was reinstated in the same position and at the same salary including back pay.

“Back pay was all part of it because she prevailed in the Civil Service Commission. But I don’t have any amounts at this point. Those things are being worked out by her attorney and our attorney,” Respicio said.

Rocio’s reinstatement follows an unusual attempt by Civil Service Commissioner Priscilla Tuncap to provide civil service documents pertaining to the Rocio case to port legal counsel Joseph McDonald after church in Maina last month.

When PNC asked whether he knew what was in that information, Respicio answered: “I don’t know because even the port counsel does not know. Because in the letter to Tuncap, he said that he did not open it, he did not read it. But what he did was take a step further and he contacted one of the former attorneys to reach out to that lawyer, to advise that lawyer of what just transpired.”

When contacted for comment, Civil Service Director Daniel Leon Guerrero told PNC that commissioner Tuncap was merely trying to return some documents belonging to the court and he does not believe the event warrants an investigation. The matter, he said, is closed.