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Round 2 for Henry Taitano

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It was Round 2 for Henry Taitano as he appeared before lawmakers once again for his confirmation as the administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority.

 For his second confirmation hearing, Taitano brought out the big guns, from family, as Glenn Leon Guerrero said, "Henry is an out-of-the-box thinker, managing GEDA requires this type of leadership," and Herbie Perez (Taitano's mother) added, "I know that if Henry is given the opportunity to lead GEDA, he will. Henry is a person that is very aggressive, and if he has intentions to do something, he will do it the right way."

To colleagues, who said, "To me, we have not done our job properly if we don't bring people like Henry into our government to help run in 1622 he has the integrity to do it," noted Michael Ady, with Karl Pangelinan adding, "The GEDA administrator position is one of the most vital positions within all of GovGuam and I know that for a fact it's tailor made for a man like Henry."

To close friends like Bank of Guam president and CEO Lou Leon Guerrero, who said, "He is smart, he is resourceful and when he knows he is right, he will find the means to get to the end of that journey."

Despite the amount of support, Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz once again stressed concern over Taitano's character and his business dealings with a restaurant when he was in his twenties. He presented documents that didn't match comments Taitano made in April. "And I'm just asking if the person is not honest to me and I don't feel the character is correct is honest, should I or can I with the documentation that I have before me and the fact that he will not own up to the fact that those documents were doctored at a later date, what is the character and what should I say."

It was these allegations that had Taitano's mother speaking out, saying, "As a parent, to hear that your son is being mentioned or discredit, I sure don't appreciate that."

The same with former senator Lou Leon Guerrero, who says she spoke with Taitano on the matter, ultimately telling Cruz that if the documents in question are a compelling concern, then vote your conscience. "If you look at the whole picture of Henry, his experience, his education, his work and so forth, I don't believe it's that compelling and I would vote for his favor."

After an hour of testimony, Taitano addressed lawmakers, calling the appointment an honor. "I love this island and I love our people and I want to do what I can to help this community become an even great place to live," he said.

And while his integrity and honor have come into question based off certain documents, Taitano clarified that he does not own or have any interest in such business. He added just like Vice Speaker Cruz, who had once been criticized during a confirmation years ago, he too hoped to be given the opportunity to serve the people of Guam. "All I'm asking sir, is that same consideration. I did not lie to you, I did not doctor any documents, and I know this isn't a court of law and if it was I would be innocent until proven guilty. And I just ask sir that you consider that and take my word on that I plan on executing the administrator with great honor and with great respect."

Meanwhile, committee chairman Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. says he intends to move Taitano's confirmation up for a vote at the next legislative session on June 17. 

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