U.S. Attorney’s Office responds to Governor’s call for removal of U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr seeking the removal of Shawn Anderson as U.S. Attorney for Guam and the CNMI.

The U.S. Attorney’s Law Enforcement Coordinator Carmela Rapadas issued the following statement on behalf of U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson in response to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s call for Anderson’s removal from office.

The Governor on Sunday released a letter she wrote to U.S. Attorney General William Barr asking him to remove Shawn Anderson from his position as the U.S. Attorney for Guam and the CNMI because he refused to comply with the quarantine order after arriving at the Guam International Airport Saturday.

In her letter to the U.S. Attorney the Governor accuses Anderson of “arrogance” and “disrespectful behavior” by challenging her recent Executive Order requiring a two week quarantine.

The response sent to the media by Rapadas states:

“The U.S. Attorney was out of the country on personal travel.  The travel did not include any CDC high risk countries.  Attempts were made to reschedule an early return, but the cascade of flight cancellations prevented him from doing so.  In the interim, he communicated remotely with the offices on Guam and Saipan, in addition to the Department of Justice and various working groups.”  

“Upon arrival on Guam, he voluntarily disclosed his travel history and lack of COVID-19 symptoms.  He was then presented with a purported contract to voluntarily self-quarantine at home.  He declined to sign the document and informed all present that he also needed to work at his office.  The Governor, through her counsel, agreed that this was acceptable.”

“The Governor’s letter has been forwarded to the Attorney General.  The U.S. Attorney supports the Governor’s efforts to meet the ongoing challenges faced by Guam.  The continuity of operations in the USAO also remains a high priority.  The U.S Attorney is part of daily activities within the office.  He will continue his work until further order by DOJ.

“Attorney General Barr has tasked U.S. Attorneys nationwide to inform their state and local law enforcement partners that we need to ensure that local law enforcement officials enforcing travel restrictions are aware of the fact that federal employees must be allowed to travel and commute to perform law enforcement and other functions and should not be prevented from doing so, even when travel restrictions are in place.  Law enforcement on Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have been so informed.  We look forward to working with our local partners to keep our communities safe during these difficult times.”