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Governor’s Chief of Staff staying in hotel suite at taxpayers expense

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero’s Chief of Staff Tony Babauta has helped himself to a lavish suite at the Pacific Star hotel where travelers coming to Guam are being temporarily housed for quarantine purposes.

Your tax dollars are paying for his extravagant hotel accommodations.

High placed Adelup sources confirm that Mr. Babauta has been staying at the Pacific Star and gets three meals a day provided to him as well.

One source defended the actions of the Governor’s Chief of Staff indictating that Govguam had to pay for the rooms in “block” so they are already paid for. Yet Govguam is paying for regular rooms at a rate of $100 a night to include 3 meals a day. The massive suite Mr. Babauta is staying in could be seen as an “in kind” gift to Mr. Babauta who worked on securing the contract for the hotel along with Governor’s legal counsel Haigh Huyhn. Further, it is against local and federal laws for these types of gratuities to be given in exchange for government contracts. The meals and the linen services are also being paid for by the government of Guam taxpayers.

The cost for his extravagant suite along with the meals and linen services will NOT be reimbursed by FEMA according to documents Kandit received from Homeland Security via a Freedom Of Information Request. Those documents reveal that even BBMR Director Lester Carlson was shocked by the news that quarantine passengers had been moved to the Pacific Star from their previous facility in Tamuning. That previous hotel only had regular rooms and no presidential suites.

In an email to Adelup, Homeland, BBMR and other government officials, Tony Babauta notifies them that the Pacific Star will be utilized as a quarantine facility and that they have 388 rooms available.

However an invoice from Pacific Star adds ONE ADDITIONAL room bringing the total amount to 389.

“People are hurting they can’t pay their rent they can’t even afford to feed their families and the Governor’s Chief of Staff is using our tax dollars to stay in their best suite?” a security guard assigned to the quarantine site said. “I mean no offense because the Chief of Staff is a nice guy but this is a slap in the face to our people who are suffering.”

The guard mentioned that Mr. Babauta once joked that he preferred the Pacific Star because the underground parking is extremely confidential and he can use the elevators there at the basement parking area to go to his suite.

“It’s really secretive and all and that makes me think even more he knows he isn’t supposed to be doing this,” the worker said.

Kandit News is awaiting the results of a FOIA request from Adelup regarding any and all emails and documents pertaining to the hotels contracted by Mr. Tony Babauta and Haigh Huyhn on behalf of the government. Spokeswoman Janela Carrera has asked for a 10-day extension to the request to give their office more times to compile their documents.

It is important to note that Tony Babauta is the “Governor’s Authorized Representative” responsible for all use of federal and local funds in this emergency.

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