GEC board chooses to discuss campaign finance issues privately - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GEC board chooses to discuss campaign finance issues privately

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 8:11 PM Updated:

BOTA team returns donations

The Guam Election Commission board voted unanimously to discuss possible campaign finance violations in executive session - meaning discussion on the subject would not be subject to public or media scrutiny.

KUAM News reports detailing possible campaign finance violations involving senators and the public auditor were given to board members for review.

GEC staff also confirmed a list of items from 2016 candidate reports and the 2018 BOTA Tenorio/Ada organizational filing had also been prepared for board review.

When the issue was brought before the board, GEC legal counsel Vince Camacho advised the board that according to election law, any discussion of possible campaign finance wrongdoing should be handled  by the board in executive session to “protect the candidates,” Camacho said.

“These issues definitely need more review,” Independent board member Pat Civille said. 

Camacho further advised the board that any investigation of potential violations should be conducted confidentially - unless the investigation findings show probable cause.

Despite the closed door discussions, at least two candidates acknowledged they made a mistake and have taken steps to rectify the issue.  The  BOTA team of Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio and former Senator Tony Ada returned an over-the-limit donation from RKM Property Group - a day after KUAM News reported on the campaign finance violation.

According to an amended organizational report filing delivered to the GEC on April 12, the BOTA team made a deduction of a “$500 donation from RKM Property Group due to their company donation over the statutory limit.”

Tenorio/Ada accepted the donation on August 31, 2017. 

RKM Property Group also donated $500 on June 14, 2017 and $500 on September 28, 2017. 

KUAM News attempted to contact RKM, but a cell phone number listed on the company’s website was not answered after multiple attempts.

The GEC confirmed Senator Michael San Nicolas has not returned a $3,000 donation from Coretech International Corporation. His office has not offered any clarification to the GEC regarding the over-the-limit donation, according to GEC staff.

According to GEC legal counsel Vince Camacho, any possible infraction must be given to the board for review by GEC Director Maria Pangelinan. Only then can the board determine what course of action, if any, to take.

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