By Troy Torres
Testimony opposing Robert Guerrero's confirmation as commissioner of public safety has surfaced, showing the CNMI Senate knew about allegations of sexual misconduct against him and still confirmed the man.
"Mr. Guerrero has used his capacity as Commissioner to engage with women taking advantage of them by disrespecting their bodies as in fondling them, and in fact- those women are afraid to report the matter due to the fact that they fear Mr. Guerrero knowingly (sic) that he has connections to certain individuals that handles the cases," the testimony, submitted anonymously to the Senate and dated February 26, 2019 reads. The testimony is contained in the official confirmation packet in the Senate's archives.
The testimony comes only a few weeks after a former Department of Public Safety employee filed a criminal complaint against Mr. Guerrero for sexually assaulting her in his office, then intimidating her from reporting the crimes. The woman in that case submitted her criminal complaint to DPS, the Office of the Attorney General, and to the Governor's Office.
The case has gone nowhere, and it remains unclear whether any investigation ever started into the allegations. Efforts to reach DPS, OAG, and the Governor's Office about the case have either resulted in refusal to comment, no answer, or officials hanging up the phone.
The statute of limitations to charge Mr. Guerrero with these crimes may be expiring soon, which calls into question the Torres administration's refusal to hold its top law enforcement officer accountable for a crime ripe for prosecution while it pursues a political witch hunt against Ed Propst. Claims that Mr. Propst committed sexual misconduct 20 years ago were made by a third party, Irene Holl. Not only has Mr. Propst denied having committed any crimes, but the statute of limitations for those alleged crimes ended 17 years ago, sending any such investigation outside the parameters of the law long ago.
Climate of fear and retaliation
The Senate testimony against Mr. Guerrero also speaks to a climate of fear and retaliation at DPS under Guerrero.
"Mr. Guerrero under his capacity as the current Commissioner of DPS has tremendously built intimidation within the departmental (sic), and he has been retaliating to vulnerable individuals who stand against his illegal decisions, and therefore, these vulnerable individuals are being transferred out from their perspective (sic) section to another by punishing them for speaking up against the wrongdoing of Mr. Guerrero," the testimony states.
The testifier implored the Senate not to confirm Mr. Guerrero, and foreshadowed mounting problems within DPS if he were allowed to continue in the post. She predicted that if the Senate ignores these allegations, then "bad management" will continue, and senators only will be protecting "his behavior."
The woman who submitted this testimony also accused Guerrero of stolen valor and falsely representing his military credentials. She said DPS needs a leader who will take on drug abuse and violent crimes and "Not a person that lavish (sic) more on his uniform into an admiral, and displaying authorized pins on his uniform. That is stolen valor and falsely impersonating."
On Mr. Guerrero's application for the job, he made several claims regarding his career in the military and referred the Senate to his DD214 record for verification of his claims. The DD214 is missing from his confirmation packet.
Kandit has sent a federal Freedom of Information Act request for Mr. Guerrero's records to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri to verify his claims of service made in his application.
You may view the testimony in its entirety below: