The Guam governor’s office moments ago issued a release stating the U.S. Navy has revised the Eagle’s Field lease to ameliorate all of Attorney General Douglas Moylan’s concerns.
The proposal would – if signed by Admiral Benjamin Nicholson, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, and Mr. Moylan – lease more than 100 acres of Naval land at Fadian (at and surrounding Eagle’s Field) to GovGuam for the construction of an estimated $1 billion medical complex.
Speaker Therese Terlaje, who was told by the governor in writing that there were no new developments to explain to senators at a recent hearing, said Adelup’s political acrobats to avoid legislative and public scrutiny stain this deal with the stench of corruption.
“It is shocking to me that a governor of Guam would go to these extreme lengths in attempts to avoid legislative review of this lease and avoid full disclosure of the obligations being imposed on the people of Guam,” Ms. Terlaje said. “This insistence on above-review dealmaking leaves us more vulnerable to bad deals and corruption, and will only grow the distrust in our government at a time when our people deserve openness and transparency. I look forward to the AG’s review.”
Mr. Moylan returned, unsigned, the original draft lease sent to him for legal approval, effectively informing the governor the lease is illegal for a number of reasons. Among those reasons were the lease’s commitment of funds without legislative appropriation.
The news release from the governor’s office discusses those issues and the solutions they believe the Navy and the governor’s office have arrived at. The proposed lease also was disclosed, and is included as a link at the bottom of this story.
Here is the full statement:
The Department of the Navy has sent a new lease for the Eagles Field property to address the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) concerns as expressed in its legal opinion on March 31, 2023. At her direction, the Governor’s legal team provided a copy of the OAG’s opinion to the Department of the Navy and discussed possible revisions to the initial draft lease addressing the concerns of the OAG. As a result, at 1:56 pm today, the Dept. of the Navy transmitted a newly revised draft lease to the Office of the Governor.
This afternoon, Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio reviewed the lease with legal counsel, and he believes that the lease revisions have resolved Attorney General Moylan’s legal concerns. As such, the Lt. Governor sent the revised lease to the Office of the Attorney General for review.
To address the OAG’s concerns relative to legislative appropriations, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero will use $10.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which do not require legislative appropriations, to pay for all monetary considerations under the lease. Additionally, the lease eliminates the potential recovery of monetary damages in the event of a default.
Governor Leon Guerrero previously set aside ARPA funds to construct a new hospital and medical campus.
To address concerns regarding the provision allowing the federal government to use the medical facility during war or national emergencies, the new terms clarify that only the President of the United States can declare a national emergency, and whatever powers the President currently has during a national emergency over all hospitals will also apply to this hospital. The lease does not confer any new rights on the federal government that are not already provided in federal law.
This lease will allow the Government of Guam to build a medical campus in a central location that is minutes away from major population centers and closer to many southern residents who currently must go to Tamuning or Dededo for emergency care.