Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero has recommended the appointment of Guam-born Johnny Cepeda Gogo as U.S. Attorney for both the CNMI and Guam, a position that’s currently held by Shawn Anderson.
In her letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, Leon Guerrero said that Gogo, a Superior Court judge in Santa Clara, California, will bring to the position a much-needed perspective as a person of color and, as a Guam native, he knows the Marianas’ unique culture and its challenges, which would be advantageous if he is appointed U.S. Attorney for the region.
In addition, Gogo’s vast litigation and trial experience in prosecuting major narcotics and methamphetamines would serve as a valuable asset in the Marianas’ fight against illegal substances, Leon Guerrero said.
Leon Guerrero pointed out that in his time serving the Santa Clara county, Gogo promoted youth advancement, secured justice for undocumented immigrants, addressed drug and gang violence, and served as a resource for those who felt ignored and forgotten.
“Judge Gogo would be a wonderful United States Attorney who will serve the people well and continue to give back to the community he serves,” said Leon Guerrero.
Gogo has served Guam and Santa Clara, California, for 23 years through his legal job. He spent six years in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office, serving in the community outreach office. He also worked with law enforcement to hold gun buyback events, which removed 4,000 firearms from Santa Clara County.
In 2019, Gogo was appointed to the California bench by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Before the appointment, Gogo served as the Deputy District Attorney in Santa Clara, California, for 20 years.
Gogo is a member of the Guam Bar Association and has worked as an associate attorney at the Calvo & Clark law firm.
Gogo worked with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to collect 1,500 cell phones for domestic violence shelters.
Gogo stayed involved in the Santa Clara County high school mock trial competition for 20 years, and the Santa Clara County Bar Association created the Johnny Gogo Award that is given to volunteers who help the program.
Leon Guererro’s recommendation for a new U.S. Attorney is pursuant to her demand that Anderson be removed for allegedly not complying with quarantine requirements.
The governor said Anderson’s decision to challenge her executive orders created an atmosphere of noncompliance and threatens the local government’s ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Leon Guerrero described Anderson’s actions as “arrogant” and “disrespectful.”
Anderson became U.S. Attorney for Guam and the CNMI in May 2018.