What was described as a "milestone case" more than a year ago has essentially ended with a trio of dismissals.

The remaining defendants in the open government case against former board members of the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority have been officially dismissed and their records expunged.

Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola granted motions to dismiss John Ilao, Deanne Torre and Rosie Blas on Tuesday morning.

Their former co-defendants, David Sablan, Roland Selvidge and Cecile Suda, stood trial in October and were acquitted of the charges against them, which stemmed from an alleged illegal meeting in December 2011 and a poll vote conducted in April 2015.

Ray Topasna, a former and now current GHURA executive director, was not called to the witness stand, an action with which he took issue.

Torre, Ilao and Blas faced similar charges, which the Office of the Attorney General chose to dismiss following the trial. The government evaluated the strength of its case and determined dismissal was appropriate, according to the AG's office.

The case first broke in 2017 and initially included seven defendants. Former GHURA Executive Director Michael Duenas was the seventh and only defendant to accept a guilty plea, admitting to conspiracy as a misdemeanor. 

All of the former defendants faced misdemeanor charges only, but at nearly 50 misdemeanors when the case was first filed.

Former Chief Prosecutor Joseph McDonald called it a "milestone case" in early 2018 after Duenas pleaded guilty. McDonald is no longer with the AG's office.

"Hopefully this is the first example that (shows) the Office of the Attorney General has decided it's important to have transparency in the running of the boards. And so, you can see that even though it is a misdemeanor, what we're really interested in is upholding the policy of law, which is to have transparency," McDonald said at the time.

As the case proceeded, Ilao, Torre and Blas severed from the main case, leaving Sablan, Selvidge and Suda to go to trial together.

The misdemeanor charges were whittled down as trial proceeded, going from 32 collective charges against the latter trio, to just 14 before the jury went in to deliberate. 

Jackie Terlaje, the attorney for Blas, did not comment on whether she and her client would pursue legal fees from GHURA. Meanwhile, Jay Arriola, attorney for Torre, said he and his client reserved all rights, including suing GHURA for their fees. 

"Her conduct in the course of board activity was the basis of the crimes charged. As director, she should be reimbursed for defending the action," Arriola previously said.

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