Shimizu apologizes for tirade
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio is refuting the allegations that he committed plagiarism, saying he holds academic integrity in high regard. Tenorio submitted a qualifying exam outlining his philosophy on public administration.
And his wife is apologizing for her actions and choice of words, saying she was defending her husband's integrity, something she's been doing for years.
Second Lady Naoko Shimizu isn't mincing words about an encounter she had with two of her husband's staffers about a month ago in his office at Adelup. "But I'm not making any excuses for it. It is me. I said those things and I was angry," she stated about audio put online of her yelling at workers. Shimizu admits she used a poor choice of words when confronting two of her husband's staffers who were under the belief that Tenorio was going to commit academic plagiarism by submitting a 98-page public safety master plan as his qualifying exam for his master's degree.
Shimizu claims the two said they came to the conclusion based on conversations they had rather then concrete evidence. "That really, really angered me. Really, really angered me," she told KUAM News. "So when I spoke to them, I wasn't speaking to them as the wife of the lieutenant governor, I was speaking them to as a wife to two people who were accusing my husband of doing something very, very wrong."
Shimizu says since the day her husband decided to run for public office, it's been a constant uphill battle to deal with the barrage of attacks on his character. "I didn't know there was a recording device. That was the farthest thing from my mind and I was acting purely on emotion just like any mother or wife would do if their child or husband's integrity was attacked. And I reacted," she continued.
And since her tirade has gone viral because of what she says was an illegal recording, Shimizu says she's taken this as a learning experience. "In hindsight, I feel my choice of words was very poor and I have to always remember, what I've learned is I am the wife of the lieutenant governor of Guam, and as a respect to this office and the Office of the Governor and therefore the people of Guam I have to act with a certain decorum," she said. "But you know, I'm only human."
Despite calling for the two staffers' resignations on the day of the confrontation, Shimizu says the very next day she apologized, asking them to stay on board and that there would be no repercussions. "These are two very intelligent individuals handpicked by my husband to work for the people," she noted.
Sahara Defensor resigned shortly after the incident after finishing up her work at the Guam State Clearinghouse while Michael Bumagat remains on the job. Shimizu insists that last months' encounter with two of her husband's staffers was an isolated one. "I'm fully 100% responsible for that and I'm asking that the people not attribute my lapse in judgment and my behavior as what happens in Adelup because it's far from that," she said.
"The latter portion of the recording does not define who I am because that was a moment in time and a reaction I had - albeit a serious lapse of judgment," Shimizu said.