Internal Investigation Reveals Prior Guam Brothel Inquiry
By Brett Kelman
HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Nov. 14, 2012) – The ongoing investigation into the Blue House brothel case has revealed that a former Guam police chief ordered a similar investigation involving the same officers four years ago.
Former police Chief Paul Suba last month told the Pacific Daily News -- and current police Chief Fred Bordallo -- that he doesn't remember ever being informed about allegations that multiple officers frequented the Blue House brothel.
However, a police department statement released yesterday said that in 2008 Suba ordered an investigation into at least three officers. The statement is a "preliminary disposition" on the ongoing police probe.
"One significant finding ... is that a GPD internal administrative document was found confirming that in 2008 an internal affairs investigation was ordered by former Chief of Police Paul Suba," the police statement said. "The 2008 internal affairs investigation request by Suba was in response to information received about Blue House victims/witnesses who alleged a Mario, Tony and another officer frequented the Blue House."
Police spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia said he couldn't comment on what, if anything, resulted from Suba's order because the information came from an internal police document. Balajadia said the recently re-opened internal investigation prompted the police department to research its own records, which revealed that the prior investigation was opened in March 2008.
The police department didn't release the document that was found.
When questioned about the discovery yesterday, Suba said he didn't want to comment on the Blue House case until he had reviewed the document that was found during the ongoing investigation.
"I would like to also talk to the chief first since they are still investigating it," Suba said. Suba said he plans to meet with Bordallo today.
If the police department had investigated the allegations against officers internally in 2008, the agency would have been required by local law to release a report on the findings on the department website by now.
No such report has been released, but many other reports from the same time period were never released either, despite the law.
The Blue House was open in Tamuning from 2004 to 2008. The lounge was secretly a brothel where at least nine women were forced into prostitution. The lounge owner, Song Ja Cha, has been sentenced to life in prison.
After the Pacific Daily News published a series of stories about the case earlier this year, Chief Bordallo reopened an internal investigation into the case.
At least four police investigators, working in tandem with the Office of the Attorney General, have been ordered to examine whether any officers were linked inappropriately to the brothel. The police statement released yesterday said the Blue House investigation continues on all fronts.
Criminal investigators are still working with the AG's office and with the cooperation of the U.S. attorney's office, the statement said. The discovery of the 2008 document will be folded into the administrative portion of the internal investigation, Balajadia said.
Chief Bordallo said in October that he reopened the Blue House case because the recent PDN articles had revealed new information about the allegations against officers.
Particularly, Bordallo said he was unaware that a Blue House employee had named the officers who allegedly frequented the brothel during federal court testimony. Brothel supervisor Freda Eseun identified the officers as "Tony" and "Mario," plus another "chubby" officer whose name she did not know.
Although Bordallo said in October he had never heard these allegations before, the PDN later obtained law enforcement documents proving that the police department was given this information in 2008.
After the police raided the Blue House, two Blue House victims described to police investigators the officers who allegedly frequented the brothel. One victim gave the same names -- "Tony" and "Mario" -- during an interview with a police investigator, according to the law enforcement documents.
To date, no police officer has been fired, arrested or prosecuted for any link to the Blue House brothel. One officer, David Manila, during testimony in the federal case against Cha, said he had sex with a Blue House employee after buying a lady’s drink, and was given undisclosed punishment but allowed to keep his job. The current investigation will review the internal investigation into Manila's conduct.
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