Veterans Affairs director Fred Bordallo took quite a hit this afternoon as a member of the Veterans Commission called for his immediate resignation.
Commission member Johnny “Atulai” Taitano said the agency’s achievements in this last year have been very minimal.
“The objections that have been brought up to the Veteran’s Commission, I’m in charge of issues. After hearing the concerns of today, I would readily accept your letter of resignation,” he said.
The call for his resignation appears to have taken Bordallo by surprise as he was seemingly in shock following the request.
The call for his resignation came after Bordallo dodged commission member Tom Devlin’s question regarding whether or not Bordallo supported the commission or if he was for their dismantlement.
The meeting also centered around Bill 300-35 recently introduced by Sen. Telena Nelson that would restructure the Veteran’s Commission to allow maximum representation of Veterans on Guam. This, in light of the increase number of veterans and veteran organizations on island.
The members wanted to know if Bordallo favored the bill, which the Commission had been working on putting together for several years. Bordallo’s perceived avoidance of the question prompted VA Commission member Barry Mead to fire shots at Bordallo’s prior military service.
“The governor hasn’t made her decision because she hasn’t received my input. What that says to me is whatever you say to her, knowing how things work up there in Adelup, is what she’s going to do. So I’m going to not mimic what John said. The night we had a meeting in Asan, I said to you you were appointed by the governor but you work for the veterans and I will be very blunt with you and I’m warning you right now here and clear … you oppose this change to the law and I will spend every waking minute before I leave this island to see you out of that office,” Mead said.
Commission members have had concerns about Bordallo’s ability to head the Department of Veterans Affairs since he was appointed to the office by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
Mead has previously stated, “Our current director is a veteran who doesn’t have any idea about how to deal with the VA.”
Bordallo has stated previously that the governor was considering doing away with the commission and replacing it with a Veterans Council.
Bordallo believes that the call for his resignation was a result of the commission member having anxiety stemming from not knowing what his testimony will be in regards to Nelson’s Bill 300-35.
He told PNC that Commission Chairman Brian Merenda apologized for the conduct of Mead following the meeting.