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Back Local News Court denies Adelup’s request to expedite dates on motion to unseal

Court denies Adelup’s request to expedite dates on motion to unseal

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DISTRICT Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood has issued an order denying the Office of the Governor's request to expedite the briefing schedule on the motion to unseal the estimated Ordot Dump closure costs.

According to Judge Tydingco-Gatewood, the request submitted by Cabot Mantanona LLP and Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel Sandra C. Miller was untimely because it was filed more than two weeks after the court issued its order setting the briefing schedule.

The court has ordered federal solid waste receiver Gershman, Brickner & Bratton (GBB) Inc. to file its response on the motion to unseal no later than June 21, while the federal attorneys were directed to file a response no later than June 28. The government of Guam is scheduled to file a reply no later than July 5.

Attorney Rawlen Mantanona and Miller are asking Judge Tydingco-Gatewood to modify a scheduling order for a motion to unseal and set it for earlier dates to catch up with the July 1 estimated date that the receiver will issue its RFPs. The court, however, said in its June 24 order that it will not rush the U.S. attorney’s response to the motion to unseal.

The court added it is presently presiding over a multi-defendant criminal trial that is currently on day 10 and expected to last several more weeks.

“The court is on a tight schedule and cannot accommodate a request to set the motion to unseal for hearing this week,” the court stated.

In the event the schedule for the briefing can’t be expedited, Mantanona and Miller requested the court to order GBB not to issue the request for proposals for projects related to the Ordot Dump closure until after the court rules on the motion to unseal.

The court, however, did not issue an order on this alternative request and instead directed the receiver to file a special report to inform the court of the approximate timeframe by which it anticipates the RFPs to be issued.

The court gave the receiver until June 28 to file its special report on the question.

Futile

Mantanona told the court that if the receiver is allowed to issue the RFPs without disclosing the updated estimates for the closure of Ordot Dump and the other pending consent decree projects, GovGuam’s motion to unseal the updated estimates will be rendered futile. The estimated amount of the costs related to the closure of Ordot Dump has been filed under seal by GBB representative David Manning, who made a prior request to seal the amount pending the request for proposal activities of the consent decree projects.

The court issued an order on May 23, allowing the cost estimates to be sealed so as not to affect the bidding process. The updated cost estimate is vital to determining how much Section 30 monies are still needed and whether the payment of $28 million for use of the Dandan property can be made out from the remaining $49 million bond money. 

Mantanona also mentioned the pending motion to intervene filed by the former Layon landowners, who have requested that the court order the receiver to refrain from spending the remaining Section 30 funds while the motion is pending. The receiver is seeking to use all of the remaining Section 30 bonds for projects related to the closure of Ordot Dump and the Layon Landfill. The former landowners, however, are fighting for compensation of their properties using some of the 2009 bond monies.  According to the landowners, the sealed updated estimates will affect the resolution of their pending motion to intervene and their request for affirmative relief regarding the disputed funds.

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