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Police ramp up Rector investigation

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Local authorities are stepping up their investigation into Senator Matt Rector, and while the Guam Police Department is keeping quiet on their query into his questionable past, KUAM News caught up with the cops at the Department of Education this afternoon as they were executing a search warrant at the agency's personnel office.

It looks like GPD isn't leaving any stone unturned as they're looking into Rector's records as far back as eighteen years ago when he first applied to be a teacher with DOE.  According to DOE's policies, it's required that all applicants must disclose a felony or misdemeanor conviction.  Agents with GPD's Government Corruption Task Force were at the agency today looking through the agency's personnel files.

And after entering the office, personnel employees claim they had no knowledge of a search being conducted - that was until we caught up with the officers exiting from the back of the building.  They said they were unable to disclose the nature of their investigation, referring us to DOE's legal counsel, Fred Nishihara.  But he declined to release much of any details. 

"They executed a search warrant for one of our personnel files, we cooperated with them and because it's an ongoing investigation, that's all we can comment at this time," he shared.  When asked if the search had to do Senator Rector in regards to his DOE application, Nishihara said, "Just at this time I can't comment on it, because we're cooperating with GPD on a properly executed search warrant."

Asked if police informed him about what specific purpose the search was for, he said indeed they did.

While Nishihara could only confirm it was a search that had to do with a personnel file, sources within DOE tell KUAM News that authorities were in fact looking into Senator Rector's Department of Education employment record.

DOE employees confirmed that Rector failed to disclose his 1983 burglary conviction when he applied to be a public sector teacher in the early 1990's.  The freshman senator admitted to his 1983 burglary conviction on his Facebook page that he forgot about the incident, and that includes when he applied for a concealed firearms license and when he signed the affidavit with the Guam Election Commission when he decided to run for public office, indicating that he has never been committed of a felony, misdemeanor or crime or moral turpitude.

While both federal and local authorities continue their investigations, the only person to file a formal complaint against Senator Rector says he's not surprised with the response he received from the Guam Election Commission today. Eloy Hara, who filed the complaint as a concerned citizen by stating that Rector violated several laws when he failed to disclose his conviction, is calling the GEC's response a delay tactic.

"They actually more or less either criticized my letter or actually my letter in lack of evidence is their interest rather then just certifying to me that Matt Rector did not check off the part in the affidavit that he had a criminal conviction," said Hara.

Hara met with the GEC Executive Director John Blas this afternoon to discuss the response, which states that Hara's complaint lacked sufficient supporting documentation regarding any alleged crime involving Senator Rector. The GEC asked Hara for more details and reliable information if he wants the GEC to proceed with his complaint.  "Of course," Blas said, "there was a difference of opinion and, of course, we are entitled to our opinions - but again, the Guam Election Commission will maintain our position with how we responded to Mr. Hara."

While it appears Hara may have been shot down by the GEC, he's not giving up.  He says his next step is to present his letter to the speaker of the Guam Legislature, as he will conduct more research to have all the documents in place to support his complaint.

Despite Senator Rector admitting to his burglary conviction and the affidavit showing that he failed to disclose it, both the GEC and the Legislature say that they are waiting for official documentation on rector's conviction before taking any action.  Meanwhile, Rector continues to refuse to make any comments or do any interviews with the media.

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