Respicio: ‘No settlements have been reached yet’

Port general manager Rory Respicio (PNC file photo)

The Port Authority of Guam has authorized their in-house legal counsel, Joseph McDonald, to proceed with negotiations to settle the adverse action appeals of three of the so-called “Port 7” workers who were fired seven years ago over their alleged involvement in a fraudulent workers compensation claim.

Two resolutions passed at the port board meeting last Thursday state that it would be in the best interest of the port to settle the adverse action appeals of former employees Leonora Leon Guerrero, Frances Arriola, and Josette Javelosa.

Port general manager Rory Respicio said no settlements have been reached yet. The resolutions just gave the legal counsel the authority to pursue settlements.

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“At the very least, these resolutions authorize the staff attorney and a member of management to reach out to those attorneys and see if settlement agreements are possible,” Respicio said.

When PNC asked when the resolution of the cases can be expected, Respicio answered: “As soon as those agreements can be presented to the board and as soon as the board decides whether or not they want to pursue this.”

The settlement agreements could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for each employee.

Former port general manager Joanne Brown was outraged over the prospect, telling NewsTalk K-57’s Patti Arroyo Friday that the port board has agreed to pay off people who did illegal activities.

She called it a political payoff and accused the Leon Guerrero administration of throwing its promise of honesty and integrity out the window.