Vigilance Committee: GHURA withholding conflict of interest information

Vigilance Committee (file photo)

Following a media report published on October 27th, Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA) director Ray Topasna declined to name two lawmakers identified as having a conflict of interest with the federally funded housing program with GHURA because the general election was only days away.

The Vigilance Committee issued a Freedom of Information Act request to GHURA executive director Ray Topasna requesting any and all public records identifying the names of the two other lawmakers who have a conflict of interest with the federally funded housing program with GHURA.

In response to the FOIA request, GHURA Legal Counsel Attorney Charles H. McDonald II denied the request for public records citing [1]5 GCA 10108 (b) and attorney-client privilege.

“We expect nothing less than full transparency from our public officials. So, it’s rather disappointing that Director Ray Topasna is choosing to hide behind GHURA’s legal counsel instead of choosing to be transparent, especially after he made some very public statements on the conflict of interest issue right before the general election. The election is over, Director Topasna. We demand that you do the right thing, be responsible, and provide the requested information,” stated Lee Webber.

The Vigilance Committee is a nonprofit organization dedicated to requiring compliance with the Open Government Law and the Sunshine Reform Act by public officials and government representatives, and to promote ways to improve the dissemination and disclosure of information to the general public.