Guam – As the appeals of the fired Port workers continue to wend their way through the Civil Service Commission, the woman at the center of the controversy, Bernadette Meno, has filed a criminal complaint against Guam Police Chief Fred Bordallo alleging official misconduct.
The complaint was filed last Thursday, March 13, with both the Guam Police Department and the Guam Attorney General.
Meno is at the center of the controversy which began in December of 2012 and led to the firing of 7 Port employees, and the resignation of former Port General Manager Mary Torres. It revolves around an alleged conspiracy to falsify a worker’s compensation claim for about $70-thousand dollars in medical treatment, a claim made by but never paid out to, Meno herself.
The merit of the cases against the 7 fired employees has not been decided on by the Civil Service Commission which has been fielding procedural appeals. And despite vows from the administration of federal and local investigations underway when the controversy broke in December 2012, no formal criminal charges have been filed against anyone, more than a year later after the allegations against these Port employees were made public.
The root of the complaint Meno filed against Chief Bordallo last week begins with a report on her injury dated September 22, 2011. The report was filed by Port Safety Inspector Paul R. Salas who states in this report that “the ladies room was slippery from oily substance on the floor … oily subtsance was cleaned by maintenance personnel.”
It was in the ladies bathroom at the Port that Meno says she fell, causing a back injury which led to her workers comp claim. Salas concluded in this September 22 report that the “primary cause of this injury was slippery surface”.
However, in an Affidavit dated June 6th of last year, Salas reversed himself.
More than a year and a half after the date on his initial report of the incident, Salas wrote that Meno “could not explain how she managed to slip and I did not find any signs of injury or evidence that she fell, or any slippery substance which could have cause her to slip or fall.”
Salas claims in this June 2013 Affidavit that in October of 2012, just before the Port firings, then Corporate Service Manager, Vivian Leon (who is among the 7 fired Port employees ) instructed him to falsify an injury report, and back date it to September 22ed 2011.
In this Affidavit, Salas quotes Leon as saying “I need this done right away so we can justify our position … “ approving Meno’s worker comp claim.
And Salas writes that a review of Port computer files and emails will prove that it wasn’t until October 24th 2012 that he began to write his backdated report on Meno’s “slip and fall”.
Last August, upon learning of this Affidavit, Meno field a complaint with Guam Police against Salas, claiming that he falsified this Affidavit about her workers comp claim. Guam Police took no action Salas.
However Meno subsequently filed a Freedom of Information request with the Port seeking details about the legal bills from the Port’s law firm, Phillips and Bordallo.
According to the billing documents received by PNC News, on August 20th of last year, the day after Meno filed her complaint against Salas, a billing from Phillips and Bordallo lists a charge for a review of the Meno complaint.
In the complaint she filed last week against Police Chief Fred Bordallo, Meno asks “How did the private attorneys who are not in law enforcement at all, receive a copy of my confidential police complaint which was supposed to be the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation?” Meno’s complaint accuses Chief Bordallo of giving her complaint to the Phillips and Bordallo law firm.
When we contacted her, Meno declined to comment on the documents we recieved.
When we contacted Guam Police, spokesman A.J. Balajadia stated in an email: “The chief has been made aware of Mrs. Meno has filing a complaint with the Attorney Generals office, however he is not in receipt of any formal documents at the time. He’ll need to review the context of the complaint before he can responded to Mrs. Meno’s concerns.”
When we contacted Attorney Mike Phillips he responded in an email saying: “You are correct. I won’t comment because of the pending Civil Service case. I do know GPD complaints (if any) are generally confidential. The Affidavits exposing in part Ms. Meno’s (and others’) actions are on file with the civil service commission and are public records. “
And when we contacted the Attorney General, spokeswoman Carlina Charfarous stated: “Unfortunately I cannot comment on this since the Port case investigation is active and ongoing.”