By Nancy I. Maanao
Attorney General Leevin Camacho is reviewing the performance audit on Joanne Brown's illegal hiring and pay raises. He will determine whether to pursue civil or criminal charges against her based on that review, according to a statement from his office today.
"We have met with the Office of the Public Auditor (OPA) and as we have done in the past, we will review the findings and recommendations of the audit before deciding how to proceed. Additionally we will monitor how the Port Authority of Guam’s Board of Directors addresses the OPA’s recommendations. We are also evaluating the use of 'working meetings' to determine if they align with the language and intent of the Open Government Law." - Carlina Charfauros, spokeswoman for the attorney general
The audit reveals, among other things, that Ms. Brown was hired by the port board of directors in December 2012 following a closed-door working session of the board, where her hiring was discussed. This is illegal. Mr. Camacho previously joined court action to compel the repayment of pay raises given under similar circumstances by the Consolidated Commission on Utilities to the management of the Guam Power and Waterworks authorities.
The performance audits leading to the cause for repayment were the first in a four-part series of performance audits by the Office of Public Accountability regarding hiring and pay raise practices in four autonomous agencies. The seaport was the third in the series.
Unlike the GPA and GWA audits, the seaport audit also confirms that Ms. Brown's pay raises mostly were made retroactive, which is expressly against Guam law.