Democrats: No plot against Congressman San Nicolas

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, the titular head of the Democratic Party, and former Congressman Robert Underwood said their party has nothing to with the current controversy swirling around the congressman.

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, the titular head of the Democratic Party of Guam, said her party has nothing to do with the controversy currently swirling over Democratic Congressman Michael San Nicolas.

In an interview with Patti Arroyo on NewsTalk K57, the governor said she was shocked and saddened when she first learned about the controversy and she tried to contact San Nicolas but did not get any response.

A Guam legislative staffer took to social media over the weekend, alleging unethical conduct on the part of San Nicolas.

John Paul Manuel, the former chief of staff of then Sen. Michael San Nicolas in the Guam Legislature, accused San Nicolas of various improprieties, including carrying on an alleged affair with a staffer while using public funds.

According to the governor, the Democratic Party has nothing to do with the issue contrary to speculation that Adelup or Democrats opposed to San Nicolas may have instigated the controversy.

The congressman has been at loggerheads with the administration and other fellow Democrats over Guam war claims and other issues.

The governor, however, has denied having any hand in the San Nicolas scandal.

“The party has nothing to do with it. These are serious allegations and our party officials won’t condone it. The party hasn’t even met to discuss the matter but we are planning to,” the governor said.

The Democratic Party of Guam also sent the following statement: “We agree with the Governor. We are saddened by the impact these allegations may have on those involved but will not rush to judgment. We will reserve other comments until all have had a chance to be heard.”

Former congressman Robert Underwood, who is also a prominent Democrat, also called in and said the issue is politically corrosive and hurtful for the family of those involved.

But if the matter escalates into a federal investigation, Underwood said San Nicolas won’t be able to avoid the issue and he has to respond.

San Nicolas has so far not responded to any queries from the media.

Underwood said he’s not sure of current congressional rules. But from what he knows during his time in Congress, Underwood said somebody has to file an ethics complaint to start an investigation rolling.

However, Underwood said rules change all the time and the rules may have changed.

Underwood echoed the governor in saying that to his knowledge, there is no organized campaign against San Nicolas.

But Underwood said San Nicolas can’t remain silent and duck the issue forever.

“If this reaches the level of an investigation, then this is something that Delegate San Nicolas cannot run away from. The moment it becomes a real ethical investigation then that will not only be politically corrosive, but it will also be personally corrosive,” Underwood said.

He said from his past experience in Congress, members who underwent scandals similar to San Nicolas have generally been shunned by their colleagues and kept at a distance.