By Nancy I. Maanao
(Tumon, Guam) Beware government officials, contractors, and employers who even think of screwing with the civil rights of the people of Guam, and the federal money meant to help the people during this #KungFlou crisis: the United States Department of Justice is watching.
United States Attorney Shawn Anderson, replying to Kandit's request for comment on the activity of his office as residents's suspicions of corruption by the Leon Guerrero regime during this crisis are rising, said that Attorney General William Barr has instructed U.S. Attorneys offices throughout the nation to keep an eye out for the American people.
Mr. Anderson said that no government should believe that it can violate the Constitutional and civil rights of its people, no matter the complexities of the emergency response.
"[O]ur Constitution is not simply set aside during difficult times. There is no free rein in government authority or action." - U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson
Mr. Anderson's statement comes as senators of the Guam Legislature near the end of debate on two measures that would give Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero dictatorial powers that arguably infringe on the civil and Constitutional rights of residents. The first bill, Bill No. 334-35 by Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, was pulled by the speaker after nine senators announced their opposition to the bill. The second, which is still under debate, is Bill No. 335-35 by Sen. Amanda Shelton. Nine senators have confirmed on the record that they will be voting no to this bill.
Business owners also are raising concerns about possible corruption and anti-trust violations by the governor in allowing her cronies to conduct business and shutting down and threatening jail time against other businesses.
Congressman Michael San Nicolas has raised a number of objections to the governor's public statements and actions, where the governor has not been truthful about the use of federal funding to help residents.
Here is Mr. Anderson's full statement:
"The Department of Justice places a high priority on addressing the misuse of federal funds by individuals in the public and private sectors. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General William Barr has directed United States Attorney’s Offices nationwide to pay particular attention to any fraud or wrongdoing related to critical medical supplies or devices. We support law enforcement in their efforts to address this unconscionable activity. Any victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19 should contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They may also contact the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for HSI Guam (671) 645-2328 and HSI Saipan at (670) 237-0600.
"As with other United States Attorney’s Offices, our office and the Civil Rights Division at Main Justice, actively monitor reports of alleged civil rights violations for potential civil and criminal enforcement. Governors throughout the United States have issued emergency orders in an effort to address the ongoing pandemic. Their governments are working hard with limited resources to address this exceptional health and safety challenge. The public is strongly encouraged to follow the guidance that has been issued to promote their health, and the health of others. However, the public should also know that our Constitution is not simply set aside during difficult times. There is no free rein in government authority or action. For those who believe their civil rights may have been violated, they should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 808-566-4300." - Mr. Anderson