Showdown: Former port leaders trade barbs

The Nippon Maru docked at Pier F4 at the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port, Guam.

Guam – Former port leaders traded accusations on Monday in connection with the infamous Port 7 scandal in 2012, which has been brought back to forth following the recent confirmation hearing for Dan Tydingco, who was nominated to the Guam International Airport Authority board.

Former port general manager Joanne Brown joined the fray as Sen. Mary Torres reiterated her opposition to Tydingco’s nomination.

The confirmation process highlighted the history of bad blood between the Tydingco and Torres, who was fired as general manager of the port around the same time the seven employees were implicated in the falsification case.

“Obviously as time goes on ‘til the end of time,” Brown said on K57’s Mornings with Patti.  “You’ll probably never going to have a sense of cohesion ever again, between Dan Tydingco, the Calvo administration and Sen. Mary Torres.”

A slew of accusations emerged from all sides, implicating the other of corruption.

With Torres calling the supplemental testimony provided by Tydingco to Acting Speaker Telena Nelson a “desperate attempt to deflect attention away from himself and double down on the flawed findings of his counsel’s politically – motivated investigation.”

The senator added that all the information and data provided by Tydingco failed to address the many issues raised at the confirmation hearing, such as secret meetings he held, an infamous “grave-digger” email, his “cozy relationship” with the Port’s legal counsel Michael Phillips and the “callous and cruel remarks” he is accused of making at board meetings and to employees.

Meanwhile, Tydingco and Brown claimed the alleged malpractices committed by the seven employees that led to their termination were the result of their own doing, and against orders of both the port board and management.

“The information that was recorded on the computers of these employees bares that. The classification of documents, the back dating, the generation of documents that did not exist, Dan always came out and said, ‘No cover ups, no cover ups’ and that’s exactly, unfortunately, what some of these people proceeded to do,” Brown said. “They proceeded to covered up what may be have been an unintentional mistake in the beginning.”

The alleged coverup was relative to the actions of the 7 employees terminated for allegedly providing illegal benefits and falsifying documents in favor of former port marketing manager Bernadette Sterne Meno, who sought to collect compensation benefits in connection with her bathroom accident in April 2012.

Torres, meanwhile, maintained her opposition against Tydingco’s nomination, saying “Having had many interactions with Mr.Tydingco in a professional capacity—sitting in silence wasn’t an option and would expressly neglect my responsibility as a lawmaker and committee member, especially for a board as critical to our island as GIAA.”