Lawyer: Rector did violate ethics code - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Lawyer: Rector did violate ethics code

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The cloud of controversy continues to swirl around freshman Senator Matt Rector.  Late Monday afternoon, the Legislature's Ethics' Committee released the summary of its legal counsel's preliminary findings involving the complaint filed by Port Authority of Guam Board Chairperson Monte Mesa.

The release of the preliminary findings comes just days before the committee is scheduled to convene.

The ethics committee's legal counsel reviewed nine specific issues that were raised by Port Authority of Guam board of directors chairperson Monte Mesa, who filed the ethics complaint against Senator Rector.  And according to the preliminary findings, it appears the Democrat lawmaker has, in fact, violated the ethics code.

While Senator Rector can indeed hold his post as the chairman of the Legislative Committee on Labor while simultaneously holding his position as the Guam Federation of Teachers president, Attorney Anthony Camacho has preliminarily determined that using legislative funds to pay the union for rent is a violation of the very ethics code rector swore to uphold.

In a Summary of Preliminary Findings, Attorney Camacho wrote that Rector is obligated to comply with the ethics code and the standard of conduct established for government employees.  Camacho found that a conflict of interest would arise if legislative funds were used to pay the union, which is the case, for office space or even the union's copying costs.  Rector would also be violating the ethics code if he engages in activities with government agencies that involve union-related activities.

It was also determined that the ethics code does not prohibit him from participating in public hearings concerning laws that appear to benefit the union, but Camacho did find that the law would be violated if rector represented the union while negotiating the pay scales for port employees, which he openly admitted last year.

Additionally, Attorney Camacho determined that Rector can use his senatorial position to further the interests of the union but he must completely disclose any conflicts of interest.  KUAM News spoke with Rector today, who referred all comments to his attorney.

Now, if the ethics committee finds that Senator Rector did in fact violate the ethics code, they can make a recommendation to the entire legislative body to take disciplinary action.  They can choose to reprimand, suspend, or remove Rector from his senatorial post. 

Of note is that only takes ten votes to adopt the recommendation of the ethics committee and take disciplinary action.

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