Another government official gives taxpayers a tour | Letters to the Editor

We live on an island which is quickly becoming the very embodiment of Rule # 7 in George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”, which states: “All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others. . ” And once again, taxpayers are taken for a very expensive ride by another Guam government official who has been arrested. In this case, it is Ike Peredo, director of the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, who is on administrative leave after an employee files a complaint; and will continue to receive $ 4,555 in gross salary and benefits every two weeks.

It has been nearly a month since he went on a taxpayer-funded vacation, and his case is still pending at the GA office.

Peredo is just the latest in a long line of government workers who are treated “more specially” than those who pay their wages through taxes. We have former Mayor Jesse Blas de Yona who was on administrative leave for months before being forced to use his accumulated leave and only pleaded guilty after exhausting administrative leave, personal leave and time off. disease.

Ricky Sanchez, the former Homeland Security officer who was arrested for using his post and office to import methamphetamine through the US Post, has been placed on administrative leave after his arrest.

DPW employee Francis Dungca was also put on administrative leave after being arrested for selling methamphetamine in his guard cabin on the DPW compound. Attorney General David Highsmith has been placed on administrative leave after an assault resulted in the hospitalization of another lawyer.

Then there was the long line of Corrections Department officers put on administrative leave after their arrests, which begs an interesting question: why are government employees treated better and more special than non-government employees. in arrest situations?

When someone who is not a government employee is arrested, they are not put on administrative leave; more often than not, they are fired because of Guam’s “at will” labor laws.

When did we get to the point where government officials and employees are more important than the people who pay their salaries? How did we get to the point where our decision-makers (senators) decided that we needed to pass laws to treat government officials and employees in a more special way than non-government employees?

Why aren’t government employees fired after arrest and “if” cleared, allowed to re-apply for their jobs, just like non-government employees who are arrested and cleared?

Why do taxpayers have to dip into their pockets to reward government employees for their bad behavior?

Last year, packets of methamphetamine were found on the floor of the main public health building in Mangilao. Considering the fact that so many people are involved in the rapidly escalating drug trade, and that an increasing number of them are government employees, we need to reconsider how we treat those who are arrested. We must treat them as we treat any non-government employee who is arrested on similar charges.

Ken Leon-Guerrero is running for the 36th Legislature in Guam.

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