Guam – Senator Micheal San Nicolas is calling on the Guam Attorney General for an opinion on the validity of the alcohol licenses issued by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board in the absence of a quorum.
There are currently only 2 serving members on the 5 member ABC Board. Several license applications are pending but can not be approved because of the lack of a quorum.
In his letter to the ABC Board, the Senator says “it has come to my attention that the Governor believes that the ABC Board can issue licenses despite only having two members.”
In the absence of “a majority quorum,” San Nicolas wants the AG to advise the Board on whether or not the law allows them to meet and approve liquor licenses.
In a release he says he wants “to avoid is a repeat of the inconsistencies between the Office of the Governor and the Attorney General as we have seen in the recent re-issuance of gaming machine licenses.”
READ the release from Senator San Nicolas below:
Senator San Nicolas requests AG to guide ABC Board
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2013
Senator San Nicolas sent a letter to the Attorney General today, seeking an expedited opinion on the ability of the ABC board to call to order and thereafter issue alcohol licenses without a majority quorum relative to board seats. The Administration is seeking the ABC Board to issue licenses immediately based on its interpretation of the law, and Senator San Nicolas wants the Attorney General to provide the necessary legal guidance as Guam’s Chief Legal Officer.
“In the interest of commerce it is important for the ABC board to conduct business; however, in the greater interest of the public it is important for the laws of Guam to be respected always. As the Chief Legal Officer of the Government of Guam, I am seeking your expedited assistance in advising the ABC Board of whether or not the law allows them to call a meeting to order and thereafter issue alcohol licenses without a majority quorum relative to board seats.” San Nicolas wrote.
“What my office wants to avoid is a repeat of the inconsistencies between the Office of the Governor and the Attorney General as we have seen in the recent re-issuance of gaming machine licenses. The laws of Guam must be followed always, and as Chief Legal Officer of the Government of Guam I am advising the ABC Board to base their course of action strictly on your interpretation.” San Nicolas added.
Since taking office in January, Senator San Nicolas has written two letters to the Governor asking for board appointments. Since then, two appointments to the ABC Board have been made by the Governor at the end of June, with one appointment confirmation hearing completed due to the other appointee being off-island. The remaining appointee confirmation hearing is planned for July 30th, and both are anticipated for confirmation by the Legislature in the next Session planned for August.