DPS chief shuts down allegations of illegal use of govt facility

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Posted on Oct 27 2020

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Responding to allegations that the Department of Public Safety was illegally using its facilities to host a personal event, DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero assured yesterday that nothing about the wedding held on DPS grounds was against the law.

According to a news tip, DPS hosted a wedding reception on government grounds and had Department of Corrections inmates decorate the reception. Saipan Tribune went to the DPS Central Office in Susupe at 10am yesterday and confirmed that a wedding reception was being held between the DPS building and the DOC facility.

In a phone interview with Guerrero, he said there was nothing illegal about the function, adding that it was no different from a company lunch that is held in the office.

“When the department has, for example, a Thanksgiving lunch for all the officers, that’s OK, right? So it’s the same thing. The bride and groom, who are also officers, brought food to the station to celebrate their wedding. They didn’t have anyone from outside the station on the guest list. It was just for the officers,” he said.

When asked about funding for the reception and the manpower to decorate the area, Guerrero said the money came from the bride and groom’s pockets and the individuals who helped decorate were fellow police officers who took leave voluntarily, to help out.

“No public funds were used for this event, it was all from the bride and groom. The people that helped out to decorate were officers who were on leave,” he said.

Guerrero argues that it isn’t illegal to host a wedding reception at the department, citing that it isn’t illegal to have a wedding at the Saipan Mayor’s Office or the Office of Governor that are also government facilities.

“Are all the weddings held at the mayor’s office and the governor’s office illegal? So why would it be illegal to have one at DPS when the governor administered the oath?” he asked.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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