Leevin’s private war?
By Joseph Guthrie
Shortly before the end of the 2022 fiscal year on Sept. 30, the Office of the Attorney General announced that it had awarded two grants— $750,000 to the Guam Police Department and $750,000 to the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, which is a private group.
The announced purpose of these grants was to combat human trafficking, which is not the same as human smuggling. The former entails an element of coercion, which the latter lacks. Presumably, the source of these grants was unspent FY2022 local funds, which would have lapsed into the general fund at the end of the fiscal year had they not been spent.
It is unclear exactly what activities on Guam these grants are meant to interdict. The media, which recounts all and sundry crimes on Guam on a daily basis, is bereft of accounts of crimes that might be fairly classified as human trafficking.
Meanwhile, the daily drumbeat of media accounts of crimes, particularly drug crimes, continues. The Office of the Attorney General has an insufficient number of criminal prosecutors. The $1.5 million would have been better spent hiring more prosecutors.
Guam law, in particular, the Enforcement of Proper Government Spending Act (5 GCA 7103) requires that public money be spent only as authorized by the legislation appropriating the money. Thus, the attorney general had no authority to “grant” money appropriated for the Office of Attorney General to the Guam Police Department, let alone a private group.
It may be that Attorney General Leevin Camacho intended to target Guam’s sex industry with these grants. Lacking legislative authority, any such targeting would amount to a private war waged by Camacho against this industry. If elected, candidate Moylan would eschew any private wars or vendettas, and carry out his duties only as authorized by law, irrespective of
his personal opinion of the sex trade.