Guam Public Auditor Warns of Audit Delays Amid GDOE Resignations, Police Gambling Probe

Guam auditor warns of delays in government audit due to GDOE resignations, as police officers implicated in illegal gambling operation raise concerns about government integrity.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Guam Public Auditor Warns of Audit Delays Amid GDOE Resignations, Police Gambling Probe

Guam Public Auditor Warns of Audit Delays Amid GDOE Resignations, Police Gambling Probe

The Guam public auditor has cautioned that recent resignations at the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) could lead to delays in the government-wide audit. The warning comes as four police officers have been implicated in an illegal gambling operation and the education board chair addresses claims of political retribution.

Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz expressed concern that the departure of Joann Camacho, the former GDOE deputy superintendent of finance and administration, may slow down the audit process. Camacho, who resigned from her position, believes her exit was due to "political retribution" related to her husband's challenge of the current administration in the last gubernatorial race.

Mary Okada, the Guam Education Board chairwoman, has denied any directive from the governor's office to remove Camacho. Okada also addressed allegations of board members "belittling" the superintendent and working against plans to decommission schools, stating that the board remains committed to supporting the superintendent.

Why this matters: The potential audit delays and allegations of political interference at GDOE raise concerns about the efficiency and integrity of Guam's government operations. The public auditor's warning highlights the importance of maintaining stability and transparency in key government departments to ensure timely financial oversight.

In a separate development, court documents have revealed that at least four Guam Police Department (GPD) officers were involved in an illegal gambling operation in 2020. The officers, identified as Jesse San Nicolas, H.M., F.C., and TL, allegedly assisted in running the gambling house, with San Nicolas serving as the organizer and owner.

The investigation, conducted by a U.S. Secret Service special agent, uncovered large sums of money received and sent through various accounts owned by the officers and others involved, which did not align with their occupations as police officers. The unsealed documents have prompted calls for the GPD and the Attorney General's office to review the information and determine any necessary investigations or legal actions.

The public auditor's warning about potential audit delays due to the GDOE resignations and the implication of police officers in an illegal gambling operation have raised concerns among Guam officials and residents. As the education board chair works to address claims of political retribution and support the superintendent, the GPD and Attorney General's office are expected to review the court documents and take appropriate action regarding the officers involved in the gambling probe.

Key Takeaways

  • Guam auditor warns GDOE resignations may delay govt-wide audit
  • GDOE board chair denies political retribution in deputy's resignation
  • 4 Guam police officers implicated in illegal gambling operation
  • Court docs reveal officers' involvement in gambling house activities
  • Concerns raised over audit delays and integrity of govt operations