30 Jun 2005

Guam AG says controversial bill will strengthen his office

8:23 pm on 30 June 2005

The Attorney-General on Guam, Douglas Moylan, says legislation is needed to strengthen his office.

Lawmakers are conducting public hearings on Bill 133, which would name Mr Moylan's office as the government's legal officer.

The Governor Felix Camacho, Police Chief and many local private attorneys are all opposing the bill.

Mr Moylan says as the first-elected Attorney General on Guam the US Congress has already decreed that he should be the government legal officer.

He says more than 12-million US dollars of taxpayers money has been wasted on private law firms over the past five years.

Mr Moylan says that is one reason the bill is needed.

"It has democratic aspects to it, it has cost saving aspects to it, that it's cheaper for the taxpayers to use that centralised law firm. We also pointed out that the people who testified against it had personal biases or financial motives, in order to see a weak attorney-general's office."

Mr Moylan says the opposition the bill has received could be related to the fact that he has overseen 40 indictments regarding government corruption since he came into office in 2003.