AGANA, Guam — The governor of Guam, his assistant chief of staff and four other people were indicted today on charges that include extortion, bribery, wire fraud and tampering with witnesses in a kickback scandal.
Democratic Gov. Ricardo J. Bordallo faces 12 counts in the indictment handed down three days before he faces a tough Democratic primary fight against Speaker T. C. Gutierrez for a third term.
Prosecutors contend that Bordallo solicited up to $200,000 in kickbacks to fund his campaign in exchange for approving contracts.
Before his indictment, Bordallo, 58, said he was the victim of a "political lynching party" supported by Republicans and Washington officials.
Bordallo was indicted on four counts of bribery, two of extortion and one each of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit extortion, attempted extortion, fraud by wire, conspiracy to obstruct justice in trying to coerce witnesses into lying and witness tampering in trying to influence testimony.
Justice Department spokesman John Russell said Bordallo's allegation of a "lynching party" is "not worth commenting on."
Rose Ramsey, Bordallo's assistant chief of staff, was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, bribery and two counts of extortion.
Four businessmen were also indicted on various related counts.
Bordallo said, "This political persecution through federal prosecution is led by the new U.S. attorney himself, Mr. O'Connor. I believe with all my heart and soul that this entire investigation reeks of colonialism and even racism."
K. William O'Connor has been U.S. attorney for three months. The 23-member grand jury included 18 locally born residents, four naturalized Americans of Filipino ancestry and one from the continental United States.