FROM time to time, I check the news to see what’s happening with the CLTC, always intrigued to see the latest raves and reviews surrounding the privileged class. Quite by accident, I stumbled across a copy of the CLTC executive director’s press release dated 14 April 2011. That’s the one where he named names and quoted figures for delinquent commercial leases.
There was some interesting stuff there – big money involved. Something didn’t look quite right, so I got out the calculator and did some checking. These are excerpts from the press release followed by my comments in parentheses.
Agfayan Incorporated: delinquent in the amount of $181,000; 52 months at $3,500 per month. (Amount should be $182,000.)
Guam International Country Club Inc: delinquent in the amount of $225,808; 11 months at $19,871.17, plus delinquent real estate taxes of $185,783 – total unpaid amount: $411,592. (Amount should be $218,582.87 plus $185,783 = $404,365.87.)
Guam Resource Recovery Partners: $13,200; three months at $4,400, plus unpaid real estate taxes of $26,293 =$39,493. The general manager told me to see his attorney. (He got the math right on this one. That “see my attorney” comment is the only thing that makes any sense so far).
Younex International: The director wrote: “Hypothetically, if Younex has 300 workers paid an average of $15 per hour with no materials on-site, this will cost $45,000 per hour; and in 23 construction-hours, Younex can save over a million dollars by using CLTC land. In two (2) years, Younex might have saved $2 million. Since Younex hasn’t provided an appraisal, I think 10 percent of their savings equals two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) is fair rent to CLTC. Again where is the fairness to the people of Guam.” (This has to be my favorite. Where did this guy go to school? Would you believe $4,500 per hour? Aside from fairness to the people of Guam, how about a fair rent of $20,000 rather than $200,000?)
Getting back to the “see my attorney” comment by the GRRP General Manager: That’s excellent advice, but I wonder what happens after that. I seriously doubt whether his attorney, or those of other CLTC leaseholders, will do the glaringly obvious thing that should be done. They should challenge lease rental demands on constitutional grounds, armed with Deputy Attorney General Charles Troutman’s 2005 legal opinion and findings by both the Guam District Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If they don’t they would appear to be clearly derelict in their fiduciary duty and violative of the Rules of Professional Responsibility.
A primary ethical obligation of a lawyer is to be a zealous advocate for the client and represent the client's interests to the full extent of the law. It shouldn’t involve great legal heavy lifting to make those rental charges go away, and perhaps the real property taxes as well. Let’s see if any of them have the integrity and guts to do it.