by Nick Delgado
Guam - The Guam election during its first meeting this year discussed the various complaints that were filed during the 2010 general election. While most of the complaints remain under investigation by the subcommittee, the commission briefly discussed a pair of complaints from former lieutenant governor's staffer for and Gutierrez-Aguon supporter Carlo Branch, the first dealing with campaign contributions and claims that those laws were violated.
The board, however, tabled that complaint stating that Branch did not sign the document. Although he was not at the meeting, Branch tells KUAM that he recalls signing the complaint and feels that this may be an attempt by the board to avoid the issue. As for the recent lawsuit from Branch alleging the GEC violated the Open Government Law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the board's legal counsel Attorney Caesar Cabot recommended that the issue be discussed behind closed doors in executive session, as he says it is considered pending litigation.
The board also touched on the status of its rent. Although it's not official, the GEC may continue to call the GCIC building home. The GEC's lease expires at the end of this month. GEC executive director John Blas says he has received notice from the General Services Agency that GCIC is the only bid that was submitted, and that they will move forward with the process to finalize the award this week.
In the meantime, GEC independent member Robert Cruz is no longer on the board. GEC members were expected to appoint him today, however democratic member Josh Tenorio made a motion to instead put out a solicitation to interested members in the community to fill the independent position. Although that motion failed, chairman John Taitano again brought up the motion which members eventually passed. The notice will be put out tomorrow and residents will have one week to submit their letters of interest.
The board will make a final selection for its independent member during their next meeting on February 23.