INDICTED GUAM OFFICIAL LOSES CREDIT UNION POST

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By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 23) – Former Department of Education Superintendent Rosie Tainatongo, who is awaiting trial on criminal charges, lost her seat on the Government of Guam Employees Federal Credit Union board, which she held for about 15 years.

"She was up for re-election and by popular vote she was not re-elected by the majority," said Tom Graves, president and chief executive officer at the credit union.

Tainatongo, who was the board of directors chairwoman, had allegedly instructed the credit union's lead teller on July 20, 2002 to extend the hours of operation until DOE employee Ike Fejeran, cashed a $5,000 check that came from a DOE fund, according to the indictment against her.

Tainatongo was indicted on charges she authorized the money to pay for a Liberation Day Queen candidate and is scheduled to go on trial in June. Despite the indictment, Tainatongo ran for a seat on the board during an election held Wednesday at Guam Hotel Okura in Tumon.

Five people, including Tainatongo, ran for three open slots, Graves said. But Tainatongo came up short on votes and came in fourth of the five contenders. She was the only incumbent not re-elected. About 800 votes were cast, Graves said.

There are seven members on the board, but only three positions were up for election because board members have staggered terms.

Peter Roy Martinez, George Santos and Carlos Bordallo were elected Wednesday and joined the other four people on the board.

"They will set the policy and direction for the credit union," Graves said. "They have a number of duties, primary is to set the policies of the credit union."

Asked whether the indictment played any role in the voting, Graves replied, "It is really hard to say. Certainly people form their opinions about these things. But you know the electorate spoke, they elected who they wanted to see as their leaders, whatever their influences are."

During the meeting on Wednesday, credit committee members also were elected: Ike Santos and Joey Calvo. The credit committee assists in reviewing loan applications and helps shape policy at the credit union, Graves said.

April 23, 2004

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com

 

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