The verdict is in and former Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority Commissioners David Sablan, Cecile Suda and Roland Selvidge have been found not guilty.
The verdict came Thursday afternoon – within a day of the jury's start of deliberations. The swift verdict was a contrast to the month-long trial that ran throughout October.
Chief Prosecutor Basil O'Mallan did not make a statement following the verdict. He did not comment on how the verdict might affect cases for Deanne Torre, Rosie Ann Blas and John Ilao, three other former commissioners who have separated from the main case.
Sablan, Selvidge and Suda faced conspiracy charges. Sablan was also charged with violating the Open Government Law and official misconduct. All are misdemeanors.
The prosecution focused on two incidents: a meeting on Dec. 26, 2011, alleged to have been conducted in secret, where a decision was made regarding Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and a poll vote in April 2015 related to a credit card policy and travel for Selvidge.
Sablan was charged in both events while Selvidge faced charges related to the April 2015 event. Suda faced charges related to the December 2011 meetings.
During closing statements, O'Mallan considered the forward commitment of 2012 tax credits to be the "smoking gun" in his case. That matter had not been discussed before, appeared to have come up suddenly, and was circumstantial evidence of a prior illegal meeting, according to the prosecutor.
The defense argued that commissioners were engaging in a review of a project when they met on Dec. 26, 2011, that no vote actually took place, that the prosecution failed to specify an overt act with regard to conspiracy charges and that the commissioners were ultimately relying legal advice from their attorneys.