Updated: Dec 14, 2019
By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) It was a special Thanksgiving celebration at the Port this year as Port 7 member Francine Rocio finally returned to work and received a warm welcome and standing ovation.
Rocio was ordered reinstated by the Civil Service Commission once again following another legal victory for the Port 7. Kandit asked seaport general manager Rory Respicio what the seaport's employees's reactions were to the return of their human resources administrator after eight years since she's worked with them.
"It was very good," Mr. Respicio began. "On her first day on the job we had our general staff meeting, but it was also Thanksgiving, so I was going down a list of things at the port and thanking them for their hard work and when I recognized Ms. Rocio, of course she received a standing ovation."
Mr. Respicio told Kandit and the other media agencies interviewing him at Friday's seaport board meeting that there was an unfounded fear that the return of the fired employees would cause anxiety or ill feelings among the seaport's family, however those worries turned out to be false since the return of seaport comptroller Jojo Guevara and Ms. Rocio.
"From my perspective, the reaction has been very positive," Mr. Respicio said.
Rocio was one of 7 port employees illegally terminated in one of the biggest political witch hunts in the history of our island. Five of the seven already won their cases in the Civil Service Commission and then spent years in Superior and Supreme Court with former port legal counsel Mike Phillips fighting their victories at every step.
Rocio won on a full hearing on the merits with weeks of testimony heard before commissioners back in November of 2014. Her case, like the others, was sent back to the CSC to determine if commissioners used the proper burden of proof in their original decision and they ruled that they did.
She returned to work last month.
Mr. Respicio told the media today that Risk Assessments are being presented to the board by Port counsel, however that information still is privileged
Mr. Guevera, another of the Port 7, returned to work earlier this year. The four remaining cases still are with the CSC.