Legislature launches full Rector investigation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Legislature launches full Rector investigation

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Legislature's Ethics Committee's legal counsel, Attorney Anthony Camacho, presented his final review of the complaint filed by Port Authority of Guam board chairperson Monte Mesa against Senator Matt Rector this morning.  And it seems the panel has come to an agreement that they will hold a full hearing to decide whether disciplinary action should be taken against Senator Rector.

Attorney Camacho's recommendations include whether a full hearing is necessary in order to determine if Senator Rector should be suspended or asked to step down from his seat, or if the matter should be dismissed and no further action be taken.  "It's at that hearing that the respondent will have the opportunity to exercise his right to argue against the evidence submitted, perhaps submit his evidence in opposition and argue against any evidence submitted or give his side of the story," he said.

Camacho says the complaint warrants a full hearing for four of the nine areas that he has been reviewing. Mainly as to whether funds from Rector's legislative budget have been used to pay for office space at the Guam Federation of Teachers building in Mangilao, whether rector is prohibited from negotiating matters related to pay scales for Port employees, and whether Rector is prohibited from engaging in activities with government agencies that involve union-related activities.

Senator Judi Guthertz, chairperson of the committee, said, "We hope to dispose of two of the four issues very quickly."

The ethics panel agreed on the recommendation, and will hold a full hearing on the issue of senator rector using his legislative budget to pay rent to the union while serving as the union president.

In the meantime, senators such as Ray Tenorio, who is the replacement for the recently-resigned Senator Frank Blas, Jr. questioned if it would be a conflict if Senator Rector used his employees at the GFT to assist with the specific compensation negotiations.  Questioned Tenorio, "If Senator Rector had acted directly or indirectly on a matter specific to the union, or failed to carry out any duties or had controlled over a matter specific to the union, then he would have a conflict?" to which Camacho replied, "That is correct."

While Camacho's findings also shows that there is no potential conflict for Senator Rector to serve in the Legislature as chair of the Committee on Labor, while simultaneously serving as the union's president, Senator Adolpho Palacios asked the attorney if he recommends that the body move forward with Rector's removal.  However, Attorney Camacho made it clear that it was the Legislature who put him there as chairman in the first place, and it again remains up to the Legislature on whether they want him removed.

The next hearing on Mesa's complaint will be held on January 13, while the remainder of the issues will be investigated and discussed by the end of the month.

In the meantime, Attorney Camacho adds that he continues to search for the burglary conviction records for Senator Rector. The ethics panel has granted Camacho authority to subpoena all local entities that may have the documents, and a hearing to discuss the complaint filed by Eloy Hara is scheduled for January 15.

Senator Rector has obtained counsel with Attorney Robert Kutz. Despite an interview from Kutz to provide questions prior to an interview, he has declined interview now, saying that Senator Rector would rather do a press conference.  

The Attorney General's Office Spokesperson Eric Palacios says they have requested and continue to wait for documentation that is pertinent to the ongoing review on Senator Rector. Palacios does say however the Attorney General's Office has received some reports from the Guam Police Department regarding the matter.

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