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Rector resigns amidst controversy

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - After weeks of speculation as to whether records really do exist, it turns out they do.  Senator Matt Rector in 1983 in the state of California pleaded guilty to misdemeanor burglary.

And as a result, the freshman Democrat lawmaker held a press conference this afternoon announcing that he would officially be stepping down from his seat in the 30th Guam Legislature, effective at 12:01am Wednesday.

In just under 15 minutes, Senator Rector summarized why he would be giving up his seat in the Government of Guam's Legislative Branch, and it all boils down to his burglary conviction.  Rector during this afternoon's press conference said he thought his record had been expunged, but instead documents were produced by the Guam Police Department showing that he, in fact, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor burglary.

"It was an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Guam in the 30th Guam Legislature," he announced.  "The police department has resources that regular people just don't have. And what they say is that I plead guilty to misdemeanor burglary. That three drunk boys climbed on the roof of a mall and opened an unlocked door.  My mom was sure that the record was expunged, I was sure the record was expunged, the defendants that I talked to in Hawaii thought the record was expunged.

"Unfortunately, we can't prove it - we don't have any documents."

Senator Rector said he could have fought it, but added "what good what that have done?"  He added he also made the decision to step down because he knew a motion would have been made on session floor to prevent him from participating in any legislative activities. 

Senator Frank Blas, Jr. had indicated he was planning to make such a motion.  Rector today said he knew that there would be enough votes to see that through, proclaiming, "Here's my choice: to allow my colleagues to vote me out and everybody's out of work. We create huge turmoil in the Legislature and I believe damage the Democratic Party. Or I could fight it, I've got attorneys on Guam looking at this saying this would have been charged as criminal trespassing. So I confided, but where would that get me?  I wouldn't have any money, I wouldn't be able to do the work of the people."

He also went on to say, "It really wouldn't help anybody, and it really wouldn't help the people that elected me to serve and my staff would be out on the street.  I will officially resign my position as senator in the Guam Legislature."

Rector meanwhile will continue to serve as the president of the Guam Federation of Teachers, where he says he will continue to fight for Guam's working families. He also considers running again for office if his record is successfully expunged.

Rector's staffers will reportedly be absorbed by the other senatorial offices; Senator Adolpho Palacios will take over as acting chairman of the Committee on Labor.

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