The attorney representing former Guam State Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon has filed an adverse action appeal with the Civil Service Commission, suggesting there was a “hidden agenda” behind her termination.
Attorney John Bell filed the appeal on behalf of Aguon on Tuesday.
“It appears Management terminated (Aguon) as a punitive manner,” Bell wrote, “which is strictly prohibited.”
He asked the CSC to dismiss or modify the adverse action that led to Aguon’s termination.
Department of Parks and Recreation Director Richard Ybanez fired Aguon on June 18. Ybanez cited “misuse of a government vehicle” and “multiple complaints about ... unprofessional, discourteous, disrespectful, unethical and demeaning conduct” toward other employees as the grounds for Aguon's termination.
In his appeal, Bell called the adverse action notice “little more than a laundry list of petty grievances, indicating management decided it was going to throw everything at the wall to see what sticks, because of some hidden agenda against (Aguon).”
Guam Federation of Teachers union representative Robert Koss has previously said Aguon told him she believes she was fired in retaliation for her outspoken criticism of the military buildup.
Aguon “has been involved in a number of different activities that may have slowed down some construction progress” related to the military buildup, Koss said.
Bell, in his appeal, wrote that DPR “effectively terminated (Aguon) because it does not like her attitude.”
“There appears to be no dispute that (Aguon) has 35 years of government service with no previous disciplinary history to speak of,” Bell wrote. The “vague and unspecific charges” against Aguon do not “meet (the) burden of proof to justify termination.”
Bell accused DPR of “thumb(ing) its nose at the CSC” by withholding “confidential interview recordings of statements and complaints” related to Aguon’s termination.
He alleged the DPR management has “no intention of abiding by the discovery order” issued by the CSC, saying it is seeking to delay matters as "a dilatory tactic.”
Ybanez and Aguon have not returned calls for comment.
The CSC is scheduled to hear Bell’s motion to void Aguon’s termination on Sept. 17.