Matt Rector enters no-contest plea
by Nick Delgado
Guam - Nearly three years ago then-senator Matt Rector failed to disclose his burglary conviction in California when he ran for office on Guam. The Guam Federation of Teachers president had first thought the 1983 charge was expunged from his record until police were able to locate the documents.
This in turn resulted in several ethics complaints against Rector, his resignation, and his arrest.
The former Democrat senator raised his right hand and swore to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth just moments before he announced his plea. With his attorney Randy Cunliffe by his side, Rector pleaded no contest in the Superior Court of Guam this morning.
In February 2010 Rector, who just resigned from his position as a senator in the 30th Guam Legislature, was arrested after he failed to disclose a California burglary misdemeanor conviction when he applied for a gun and concealed firearms permit with GPD. He also did not disclose the conviction when he ran for public office and when he applied for a job as a teacher with DOE.
Today jury selection and trial was scheduled for his case, but instead he pleaded no contest to a charge of unsworn falsification as a misdemeanor. "He's not contesting the charge against him," detailed Cunliffe, "but the judge just doesn't accept the plea. And then in a year the case will be dismissed and expunged."
The plea allows Rector to enter into a diversion program, and next year if he obeys all court conditions then the case will be removed from his record.
In the meantime, Cunliffe declined to disclose the reasons why his client chose to enter the plea. Rector had he been convicted could have landed him jail time of up to one year. Additionally Judge Michael Bordallo ordered rector to pay a $1,000 fine plus other court fees. Rector said he would pay the fine and plans to take an unsupervised trip to California this summer.
Rector meanwhile declined to be interviewed after today's hearing.