Senator asks Judiciary about allegations against his son

LINE OF QUESTIONS: Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje, during an oversight hearing on the Judiciary of Guam with updates on the status of discretion in execution of warrants of arrest and allegations stemming from Federal Court cases, asked about allegations against his son. Video screen grab. 

Whether a complaint existed involving allegations against his son was among the questions asked by Sen. Jose Terlaje of Judiciary of Guam officials during an oversight hearing Wednesday. 

"Was there any formal complaint or any misconduct filed by the court by (Vickilyn) Teregeyo, or did anyone that was present at a barbecue back in 2017 that my son - and marshals were there, probation officers were there - that my son assaulted, tied her up for three days, and beat her up and everything, was there any report of that incident happening?" Jose Terlaje asked. 

"This lady, Teregeyo, and I guess you know who she is, had mentioned that she was assaulted by Joey (Terlaje) in the presence of marshals and probation officers. And that my son tied her up for three days, assaulted her. And I just wanted to find out was there any complaint filed by Vickilyn Teregeyo regarding that incident," he said. 

Kristina Baird, the administrator of the courts, said they could not comment about any ongoing proceedings before the court, and could only comment on allegations made in the case against federal drug defendant Mark Mayo, the purpose behind the oversight hearing.  

The senator continued, asking how the court would validate a complaint made against an employee, specifically a deputy marshal. 

Baird said a complaint would trigger an internal investigation by the Judiciary, to determine whether management would proceed with an adverse action or referral to the appropriate law enforcement entity. 

Jose Terlaje said he wanted to bring it up because "when we checked with the Guam Police Department or even the court, there was no complaint made by this one individual."

"And the reason why there was no complaint, because I would think that it didn't happen at all," said Jose Terlaje, who concluded by praising Judiciary employees and police officers. 

Joey Terlaje, the senator's son, is a former Superior Court of Guam marshal and was a deputy director of the Department of Corrections before resigning after allegations surfaced of his connection with former Yona Mayor Jesse Blas, who has been convicted of extortion in federal court for taking bribes in exchange for access to cluster mailboxes for drug distribution. 

Teregeyo is an ex-girlfriend of Blas.

The senator appeared to be referring to statements made in federal court that his son dragged Teregeyo into a residence at a barbecue where she was allegedly held hostage for three days. Blas, meanwhile, reportedly hit Teregeyo and later flaunted his connections at the Superior Court.

Question on vacating warrants

Joey Terlaje's alleged association with Blas and allegations against him were disclosed during the former mayor's case. Although he was not charged in connection with the Blas case, Joey Terlaje's name again surfaced during the federal case against now-convicted drug defendant Mark Mayo, who told investigators that Joey Terlaje beat a woman at a barbecue. 

Mark Mayo also informed federal investigators that he was able to vacate two warrants with the assistance of Lovelia Mendoza, another of Blas' ex-girlfriends and Mayo's co-defendant at the time of his case. 

That was a major focus of the oversight Wednesday as Judiciary officials went over the various aspects and contingencies within the warrant system and whatever they could state regarding Mayo's case.

Magistrate Judge Jonathan Quan said no one person or division could vacate, or cancel a warrant, without it being discovered or tracked because of the various "interlocking" mechanisms in the system. Even judges could not vacate a warrant by themselves, he added. 

Rossana Villagomez-Aguon, the chief probation officer at the Judiciary, said Mayo does have active cases before the courts and she was limited in what she could say regarding him. However, after reviewing filed court documents and probation records, Villagomez-Aguon said she found nothing that indicates "warrants were treated in a way that is inconsistent with the process described by Magistrate Judge Jonathan Quan." 

The first question Jose Terlaje asked was about warrants. Again, it involved Teregeyo.

"(Teregeyo) reported to the social media that she was illegally detained at the Department of Corrections because Superior Court marshals made up a warrant of arrest. And I think with the presentations of the staff at the Superior Court that I listened to, I think this is almost impossible - I don't think this is possible," Jose Terlaje said. "I just wanted to ask ... is that really possible?"

Baird said the Judiciary could not address the specific allegations reportedly made by Teregeyo because that was not part of the speaker's letter informing them of the oversight hearing. But to the allegation that a marshal could make up a warrant and then proceed with an arrest, Baird said that would not be possible under the current processes. 

Call for investigation

Last month, following the Mark Mayo case, Jose Terlaje issued a statement calling on the Guam Police Department to investigate the tampering of warrants in the court system and public safety officers allegedly involved in the drug trade - even if that investigation might lead to his family. 

Jose Terlaje, who has oversight of public safety, said he would relinquish oversight duties related to that investigation to his co-chair, Sen. Frank Blas Jr., to prevent conflicts of interest. 

Jose Terlaje also asked the GPD chief to investigate "alleged physical abuse by public safety officers mentioned in federal court." 

On Wednesday, the Office of the Attorney General and GPD confirmed that they are actively investigating reports of alleged misconduct among law enforcement personnel, which stem from claims made during the federal case against convicted drug defendant Mark Mayo. 

"We recognize the distinct harm caused by a public official or employee abusing their authority, especially if committing a crime. Those who have been entrusted with authority and have taken an oath to enforce our laws are justifiably held to a higher standard. We are acutely aware of the critical role that our offices play in building and maintaining the public's confidence in government and ensuring that bad actors are prosecuted. If our investigation reveals misconduct, we will take appropriate action including the pursuit of criminal charges," stated a joint letter from the attorney general and police chief. 

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