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NEWS: Corrupt permit manager signed off on his own inspections

(Tumon, Guam) Department of Public Works officials said it is not proper for its permit-approving administrator to approve the inspections the administrator conducted himself.

Such is the case on 15 separate occasions between 2018 and 2019, when former permit administrator Joseph Guevara signed off on the inspections he conducted at construction sites throughout the island. These were developments that eventually were listed, marketed, and sold by Mr. Guevara's wife, democratic senatorial candidate Janine Guevara.

Ms. Guevara is a real estate agent under the brokerage Landmark Realty Group.

Inspectors review construction sites at different times during developments to verify compliance with building and electrical codes, among checklists of regulatory compliance. The permit administrator verifies the inspectors's work; part of this layer of compliance is a check against collusion between developers and inspectors.

"It's not supposed to happen," one DPW official told Kandit Thursday. "But it was being allowed in the Calvo administration. The new administration stopped this from happening, when the director found out about it." Vince Arriola is the DPW director; he opened an investigation into Mr. Guevara that led to the permit administrator's resignation in December.

The other major issue with these 15 inspections documents, where Mr. Guevara acted as an inspector, is that Mr. Guevara is not an engineer, according to the DPW official. More than half these documents even indicate the former permit administrator conducted the electrical inspection for these construction sites.

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