By Jacob Nakamura
Sen. Joe San Agustin (D-Dededo), is the first of his Democratic colleagues in the Guam Legislature to answer Kandit's questions about police corruption and confidence in Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje.
Kandit four days ago emailed Democratic senators, who control the Legislature, and asked them whether they share community concern about police corruption in light of the destruction of Jerry's Kitchen involving Guam Police officer Joneen Terlaje, Sen. Terlaje's granddaughter.
In the first days of the controversy, Mr. Terlaje's office lied about Ms. Terlaje's involvement in the crash. Sen. Terlaje is the chairman of the committee with oversight of the Guam Police Department and other public safety agencies. His son, Joey Terlaje, was named twice in federal court by an FBI agent as part of a police and public corruption investigation. Sen. Terlaje attempted to exonerate his son during an oversight hearing of the local courts, where Joey Terlaje was a deputy marshal. He used his office and oversight powers to question court officials about his son and to insinuate that a woman who accused Joey Terlaje of helping to kidnap and physically abuse her was lying.
Concerned about corruption at GPD and elsewhere
"Yes, I am concerned with the increased perception of police corruption mainly since they are in position to ensure the safety of our community, but I am also concern with other agencies that faces allegations of corruption," Mr. San Agustin wrote to Kandit News.
Federal documents and officials in recent weeks have revealed investigations into illegal gambling and money laundering involving PayPal by law enforcement officers at Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency, GPD, and Guam Fire Department. The scandal also has reached the Port Authority of Guam, Guam National Guard, and reportedly Guam Power Authority.
Witnesses in multiple federal trials have implicated Guam Police officers and local court marshals in drug trafficking and the sexual abuse of female court probation clients.
Kandit has been exposing the Terlaje family's widespread connections to the island's law enforcement agencies, and the accusations against and investigations underway regarding Joey Terlaje and his brother, convicted felon Joshua Kinene Terlaje.
Kandit to San Agustin: Do you continue to have confidence in your fellow Democrat, Sen. Jose Terlaje, to lead the public safety committee you all elected him to lead?
"I continue to support my colleague and work towards ensuring proper actions are taken within the committee should any issues arise," Mr. San Agustin answered.
The Democratic majority, which decides committee assignments in the legislature, continues to allow Mr. Terlaje to have oversight of the island's public safety and law enforcement agencies.