4 Jun 2004

Confusion in Guam over what constitutes illegal nepotism

11:24 am on 4 June 2004

Confusion has arisen in Guam over what constitutes illegal nepotism after recent incidents concerning the hiring of government employees.

Local media have been reporting the Governor's appointment of a distant cousin as deputy director and then the subsequent acceptance of his resignation.

There have also been allegations that the Lt.Governor's chief of staff, Bertha Duenas, changed documents when she signed off on the hiring of her son.

However the Attorney-General, Douglas Moylan, says legality depends on the category of employees.

"We have classified and unclassified employees, and the current Governor Camacho has hired family members to be in the unclassified service, many of whom are in the cabinet. So when you talk about nepotism, nepotism as obvious as John F. Kennedy when he appointed his brother as attorney-general, we have it in the cabinet through the Governor Empowering Bill. It';s only classified service. The law is basically you arec hired according to merit."

Douglas Moylan says his office hasn't been asked to investigate the incidents yet and he suspects the allegations could be a result of political battles.