Attorney General Douglas Moylan’s return to the position of the island’s chief legal officer has also brought back a division to go after white-collar criminals.
Moylan, as the first elected attorney general in 2003, created a government corruption division, which was meant to keep government officials accountable in their spending of taxpayer dollars.
Once he left the Office of the Attorney General in 2007, however, the group was not carried forward.
Now that Moylan is back as AG, he has spent his first few weeks reestablishing the division.
“I believe that it’s an important part of our office in order to make sure that taxpayer dollars are being spent properly,” Moylan said.
He told the members of the Guam Chamber of Commerce, during a meeting where he was invited to be a guest speaker, when dealing with government corruption, much more money tends to be involved compared to private criminals.
“You often are talking about larger amounts and getting into the millions – depending upon how these monies are being spent – properly or not,” said Moylan.
Operating the division, Moylan says, involves collaboration with the public auditor, who reviews financial information coming out of the government and releases reports to the public on how government money is being spent.
Since Moylan took office again, he and Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz have met to discuss the division.
“(Cruz) has been responding very positively to our fulfilling of the duty of the attorney general, both in civil and in criminal,” Moylan said.
The Guam Daily Post contacted Cruz, who shared some details of his discussions with Moylan.
“I introduced him to the (Office of Public Accountability’s) annual work plan, and recommended that his office pay close attention to the findings and recommendations (section) in the audits we have released and will be releasing,” Cruz wrote in a message to The Guam Daily Post.
As for the process of investigating potential white-collar crime, Moylan said it is secretive.
“We don’t want to persecute anyone unnecessarily unless the facts and the evidence leads us in that direction. … We’re going to keep it completely confidential,” Moylan said. “Basically, I’ve been telling people that we don’t speak of government corruption investigations.”
Moylan did say, though, that reports will be released with their reasoning for not taking action in certain cases. Otherwise, “indictments will be coming out.”
Moylan said that in his first term as AG, the government corruption division won three out of four jury trials and had about “30 to 35 convictions” for charges that included official misconduct or theft.