Rector's subpoena requests denied - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Rector's subpoena requests denied

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Legislative Ethics Committee has denied several of Senator Matt Rector's requests for a subpoena. The Democrat policymaker's legal counsel, Attorney Robert Kutz, issued a letter Thursday to the committee, first requesting that Port Authority of Guam chairman Monte Mesa appear and testify before the panel regarding his sources of his conflict of interest complaint, along with all documents in his possession concerning the investigation.

The committee granted the requested subpoenas only for testimony, documents, or other information relevant to the four issues being investigated. These issues include whether funds from Rector's legislative budget have been spent on Guam Federation of Teachers activities, whether the senator is prohibited from negotiating matters related to pay scales for Port employees, whether Rector is allowed to engage in activities with government agencies that involve the union, and if he is prohibited from using his legislative budget to pay rent to the union while simultaneously serving as union president.

As for Rector's request of all records relating to the expenditure of public funds for lease or rental of office spaces by all senators, the committee stated that it has already provided Rector with all documents that have been compiled for both ethics complaints, as well as the documents relating to the evaluation of the complaints. The committee denied the remainder of this request as they stated they do not have all requested documents in its possession.

The letter also requested that the committee subpoena Eloy Hara, who filed a second complaint claiming Senator Rector violated local law when he falsified the affidavit to run for office. The committee held off on the request until an investigation or full hearing is in place.

Rector had also requested that KUAM News and Senior Investigative Reporter Mindy Aguon appear and testify before the Ethic Committee regarding the sources of information where KUAM's television report revealed Rector's burglary conviction in California, or that he had falsified any information on his application for a Guam firearm concealed carry permit.

Additionally, he requested that all documents concerning the matter be provided. The committee, however, denied this request calling it unlawful and reminding Rector that it is public policy on Guam that in order to protect the public interest and the free flow of information, the news media should have the benefit of a substantial privilege not to reveal sources of information or to disclose unpublished or un-transmitted information. The committee also cites the freedom of the press, and that electronic media requires protection of the confidential relationship between the news gatherer and the source of information.

The Ethics Committee has also decided to hold off on Rector's request for a subpoena to the Guam Police Department, requesting that they produce records relating to his application for a Guam Concealed Firearm License until such time an investigation or full hearing regarding this matter is launched.

In the meantime, the Ethics Committee is scheduled to discuss the Mesa complaint on January 14 and hear the findings of the Hara complaint on January 15. The hearings will be held at 9:30am in the Legislature's Public Hearing Room.

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