Senator hands over public safety oversight function

Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje has authorized his vice chair to take over the oversight function of the Legislature's public safety commission.

Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje, who chairs the Legislature’s public safety committee, has authorized his vice chair, Sen. Telena Nelson, to conduct oversight hearings on behalf of the committee.

“I have spoken to members of my caucus and recommended that Vice Speaker Telena Nelson, who is also Vice Chairman of the committee, will be authorized to hold any oversight hearings she deems necessary,” Sen. Terlaje said.

Although he did not explicitly say so, Terlaje’s decision may be related to the fact that his son, former Department of Corrections Deputy Director Joey Terlaje, was one of the Judiciary of Guam marshals present at a Yona home when the Yona mayor allegedly punched a woman he was romantically involved with.

The senator’s son has not been charged of anything but the senator wants to make sure that the integrity of the Legislature and the public safety is not compromised in any way.

“It won’t happen overnight, but the Democratic majority in the legislature is unanimous that confidence and trust in our law enforcement and public safety agencies cannot be allowed to falter. It is my sincere hope that this simple but significant change shows our commitment to this mission,” Sen. Terlaje said.

Sen. Nelson, in an interview with Andrea Pellacani on NewsTalk K-57, said one of the public hearings she will conduct in the public safety committee is the issue of Department of Corrections detainees being mistakenly released.

Sen. Nelson said issuing reprimands is not enough and that DOC must have a standard operating procedure in the release of detainees.