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Governor: I am transparent

By Eric Rosario

(Tumon, Guam) The governor is resolute in her stance that the people of Guam should trust her and that she has conducted her handling of the people's money transparently and in an accountable manner.

In a three-page letter designating a public law number for Bill No. 333-35, which became Public Law 35-86 over the objections of the governor, Ms. Leon Guerrero said she was dismayed senators do not trust her handling of the crisis and the money she is using from both local and federal funds. And while in one breath, she demanded recognition that she has been completely transparent with the legislature, in another she stated, "I am committed to continuing discussions to give the Legislature more vision on the day to day activities."

Ms. Leon Guerrero wrote a litany of "I was transparent" statements, explaining to senators where she believes she has been transparent with the use of money.

"Trust and transparency cannot be legislated," the governor wrote. "These are wise and clear words from the Honorable Senator Amanda Shelton as she spoke against the override of my veto to Substitute Bill No. 333-35."

Senators overrode the governor's veto of Bill No. 333 in the wake of a corruption scandal involving the illegal procurement of hotels by her son in law and legal counsel, Haig Huynh, which Ms. Leon Guerrero later admitted she authorized. Both she and her son in law have direct conflicts of interest with some of the hotels procured, because of outstanding loan balances they have with her family's bank, the Bank of Guam.

Several senators during the debate on the override motion referenced the corruption scandal in their reason for overriding the veto and demanding transparency and accountability through reporting requirements.

The governor has told the public she and her son in law have done nothing wrong, but have not answered any questions on the lacking procurement record with any specificity. In her letter, she reiterates Ms. Shelton's comments read on the floor of the legislature about trust and transparency.

"Like Senator Shelton stated so succinctly: trust and transparency cannot be legislated," Ms. Leon Guerrero wrote.

Indeed, madam governor. It must be earned... back.

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