Ethics Committee to discuss Rector complaint - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ethics Committee to discuss Rector complaint

by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Legislative Ethics Committee is gearing up to meet on Wednesday to discuss the preliminary findings of the first complaint filed against Guam Federation of Teachers union president and senator Matt Rector, as filed by Port Authority of Guam Chairman Monte Mesa. The committee late Monday released the preliminary report compiled by its attorney, Anthony Camacho, which found ethic code violations by Rector.

Reacting to the preliminary findings, Mesa says it was well worth filing, telling KUAM News, "I think that we as citizens of this island we must stand up and ensure the government is serving at the pleasure of the people and what the people want. It is our inherent right to speak our minds, it's our freedom that is based upon how our government is to be run. I certainly will continue this challenge as we go along, not just with senator matt rector but for everybody that holds high office."

Part of the findings and possible violations include Senator Rector using his legislative budget on office space with the GFT, negotiating matters relating to pay scales for the PAG, if he engaged in activities with government agencies that involve union-related activities, and using his legislative budget to pay rent to the union while serving as the union president simultaneously.

Ethics Committee member Senator Adolpho Palacios calls the attorney's findings comprehensive and thorough, adding, "I am prepared to debate and to discuss the issue tomorrow; I have no problem with the findings."

If the panel agrees on the findings of the complaint, committee chairperson Senator Judi Guthertz says Senator Rector will be given the chance to preset his argument.  "He'd be given an opportunity to come a hearing, the full membership of the committee and present his side. If the committee feels that there's more research needed or not pleased with the findings then they can ask for more work to be done," she explained.

Meanwhile, Guthertz says the second complaint filed by Eloy Hara regarding Senator Rector's 1983 burglary conviction will be discussed by mid-January. Hara says he is satisfied with the committee's progress with his complaint. He also confirms that he as received updates from the feds about Rector's case.  "The FBI gave me a feedback that he has not committed any federal criminal statue, but they passed it on to the local law," he confirmed.

As the ethics committee is scheduled to meet at 9:30 tomorrow, committee member Senator Frank Blas, Jr. has resigned as he has continuously argued a conflict of interest for him to handle the cases on the panel. Guthertz has asked the speaker to appoint a replacement by tomorrow's meeting.

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