Still no word on Yona mayor resignation

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Former Yona mayor Jesse Blas
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Mayors Council of Guam Executive Director Angel Sablan said reports that Yona Mayor Jesse Blas was in receipt of sample resignation letters are inaccurate.

“How this resignation subject came up is just in conversations with close people with the Mayor and in our office meeting,” Sablan said.  “I had mentioned to the president and vice president that maybe we could prepare something for him just in case he needs to use it.”

While Robert Hoffman, the vice president of the Mayors Council of Guam, did prepare two sample resignation letters, Sablan says that those samples were never given to the Yona mayor who is being held behind bars on drug-related extortion and bribery charges. Sablan stresses that reports to the contrary are wrong.

“Those reports are inaccurate. We have not spoken to the mayor himself. He has not requested for any sample letter and we have not spoken to his attorney either and he has not requested any letter,” Sablan said.

He added that as of today they are still in the dark when it comes to the Yona mayor’s plans on whether he will resign or not.

“As of this day, he is still the mayor of Yona even if it’s by title only. Of course, he can’t function nor perform his duties as mayor and until that changes or until he goes through trial and we see the outcome, then he will remain the mayor of Yona,” Sablan said.

And while there have been efforts to recall the Yona mayor which was started by Yona resident Francisco Hitton who is eyeing the mayor’s seat, Sablan says Hitton is having difficulty in securing the 981 signatures from registered Yona voters.

“I saw Mr. Hitton. He did come see me. He is not having very much success in that recall effort so I think he is trying to get the legislature, 10 of the senators, to bring it up as a recall measure. But that’s the only other way other than Mayor Jesse Blas resigning, death, or not performing his duties because of illness or something like that. Until then, there will be no vacancy at the Yona Mayor’s office,” Sablan said.

Sablan confirmed to PNC that Blas has already started leave without pay and that will continue until he resigns or there is a conviction.

He added that if developments in Blas’ case occurs after March 8, a special election would not be an option. However, there is a gray area in that Yona village does not have a vice mayor.

According to Sablan, there are eight Yona residents who have expressed interest in vying for the mayor’s seat.

PNC has reached out to Blas’ attorney Joseph Razzano. However, no comment was received as of news time.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.