SENATOR RECTOR SHOULD DO THE RIGHT THING: RESIGN

Editorial

Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Jan. 8, 2010) - For someone with "nothing to hide," Sen. Matt Rector has proven adept at dodging questions related to the ethics complaint filed against him in Guam.

The complaint alleges a conflict of interest in Rector serving as both senator and president of the Guam Federation of Teachers union. The senator has maintained that there is no conflict in him serving in both positions.

But he's wrong. There is a conflict of interest, which has been made clear by several incidents:

Rector uses part of his legislative budget to rent office space from his union. The union clearly benefits by collecting US$2,500 a month -- or US$30,000 a year -- from the lease. And the rent is much higher than one would pay for comparable office space in the same general area.

The senator introduced legislation that would shift the cost of arbitration and grievances filed by GovGuam union workers from the union to the Civil Service Commission. Again, the union clearly benefits.

And Rector also filed an unfair labor practice charge against the general manager of the Port Authority of Guam, and a Freedom of Information Act request, in his position as senator, to see the port's legal bills in collective bargaining negotiations.

Rector has called the ethics investigation of him "ridiculous." What's ridiculous is his refusal to answer questions about the issue. He refuses to talk to the Pacific Daily News and other local media outlets, or to return phone calls to his office that seeks comment on the ethics complaint.

The senator also was scheduled to meet with attorney Anthony Camacho, who did the preliminary ethics investigation, earlier this week so Rector could respond to the ethics complaint. Rector canceled the meeting and told Camacho to address any issues regarding the ethics complaint to the senator's lawyer, Robert Kutz.

Rector's actions show he thinks he is above answering to the public and the voters who elected him into office. Rector must do the right thing and step down.

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