Guam – Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio is denying suggestions of plagiarism and academic fraud that have surfaced in the wake of a widely circulated audio recording that has been posted on Facebook.
This Sunday, the Lt. Governor is expected to receive a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Guam at the Spring 2011 Commencement Ceremony.
On the recording [which is posted below] are the voices of the Lt. Governor’s wife, Naoko Shimizu and 2 employees of the Guam Clearing House Office which is under the Lt. Governor’s Office.
HEAR the audio recording by clicking on the link below:
The exchange was recorded about a month ago. PNC is with holding the names of the 2 employees.
During the exchange, Shimizu, who is an attorney, can be heard closely questioning the 2 employees in detail about a meeting that they had with the Governor’s Chief of Staff Frank Arriola.
The employees state that they met with Arriola to express their “anxiety” over what they felt was an inappropriate request by the Lt. Governor to perform work they believe was related to the Lt. Governor’s course work required for his Master’s degree.
The young woman being questioned explained to Shimizu that she is anxious because she had been told that “if somebody finds out about this your life will be ruined …. if academic fraud really did occur and I did write it…so I was really getting scared,” she says to the Lt. Governor’s wife.
Shimizu is heard to say on the recording that the meeting with Arriola resulted in her husband, being called into the office of Governor Calvo for a reprimand. Shimizu expresses her disappointment with the two employees in strong language.
PNC News sought comment from the Lt. Governor to the audio recording which we provided to his office.
Spokesman Phillip Leon Guerrero emailed the following statement from the Lt. Governor.
“In no way did I commit plagiarism. Integrity, especially academic integrity is a value I have always held in high regard. I am aware of allegations to the contrary. The truth is I wrote and submitted a qualifying exam, which outlines my philosophy on public administration. I’ve been pursuing my master’s degree for the past eleven years. Throughout my professional career, I’ve made time to pursue higher education. I feel it’s important to tell all Guamanians, that no matter where you are in life, you can make time for your education, and you can keep learning. I’m proud of everyone who share similar stories. It’s never too late for you to get a degree. I sincerely hope more people take every opportunity to further their education.”