Rector has history of not disclosing conviction - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Rector has history of not disclosing conviction

by Nick Delgado

As several investigations are being conducted into Senator Matt Rector's criminal past, evidently he's forgotten about his conviction on more than a few occasions. 

While the freshman policymaker has said he forgot about a burglary conviction from 1983 when he applied for a concealed firearms permit with the Guam Police Department last month, KUAM News has learned that the Democrat lawmaker and Guam Federation of Teachers union president apparently forgot his indiscretion when he applied to be a teacher with the Department of Education back in the early 1990's.  This is the same form the agency has been using the 1980's for potential applicants to work for the Government of Guam.

The Suitability Determination Document requires a person to disclose a conviction for violation of law asking two questions: whether the applicant had been convicted of a violation of law such as a felony or a misdemeanor; and whether they've been convicted of any act, attempt of conspiracy to overthrow the state/Government of Guam or federal government.  The applicant was also required to submit a police clearance and provide an explanation including dates and circumstances surrounding the incident and the penalty that was imposed.

But sources in DOE confirm with KUAM News that Rector did not admit to the burglary conviction when he applied to be a teacher.  So how did the 1983 burglary conviction from California not end up on Rector's police clearances provided to both DOE and the Guam Election Commission? 

According to Police Chief Paul Suba, the police clearance will only pick up crimes and convictions committed on the island.  Suba confirms the Guam Police Department learned about the conviction themselves when they followed protocol for all concealed firearms permit requests.  The police chief says, as they do with all individuals who apply, GPD requested a full background check on Rector.

Suba meanwhile says the senator's concealed firearms license is pending as the department awaits further information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  And if Rector's burglary conviction was, in fact, a misdemeanor then there's still a chance he may be able to carry a concealed firearm.

According to the USA Carry web site under Guam Concealed Carry Permit Information, applicants are only prohibited from obtaining a permit if they are convicted of a felony.  The police department continues to investigate whether Rector can obtain the permit and whether he faces criminal charges for failing to disclose the conviction on his application.

Said Chief Suba, "To do that as quickly as they can without leaving anything unattended to. This is both to benefit not only the people of Guam and their interests, but the senator himself as an individual."

The Guam Election Commission's legal counsel meanwhile is conducting its own review to determine whether Rector was even eligible to run for elected office, as he failed to disclose the conviction on an affidavit filed with the GEC last year.  The Attorney General's Office is also conducting its own review on the matter.

In the meantime, despite e-mail messages and calls for comment and even opportunities for live interviews - as the senator had demanded in order to speak to KUAM News - the public official who has called for transparency and accountability from various entities of the government continues to refuse to make any statements.

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