New bill seeks to protect taxpayer dollars from becoming salaries for convicts

Senator Joanne Brown (PNC file photo)

In an effort to protect the sanctity and trust of the government of Guam, Senator
Joanne M. Brown introduced legislation to prevent individuals who have pleaded guilty to, or have been convicted of, official misconduct from government employment.

As it stands, the Attorney General of Guam opines that the hiring of individuals convicted of official misconduct is solely at the discretion of agency directors.

“An official misconduct conviction is serious – it means a government official knowingly
abused their position to break the law. It is a brazen act that destroys public trust in
government,” Senator Brown stated. “Rewarding these individuals with another job in the government of Guam is a slap in the face to law-abiding citizens everywhere. It’s obvious that we cannot trust certain public officials to properly discern right from wrong. It’s time to lay down the law: official misconduct will not be tolerated among GovGuam employees. If you were convicted of breaking the law, specifically a conviction of official misconduct, returning to GovGuam won’t be an option,” Senator Brown said in a news release.

Bill No. 37-36 (COR), introduced Tuesday, will bar anyone with an official misconduct conviction from employment anywhere within the government of Guam.

“There are thousands of Guamanians with employable skills who follow the law. We cannot allow corruption and nepotism to undermine our efforts to put an end to corruption and to place our government back on the right track. No one deserves a second chance to abuse the trust of the people of Guam in an official capacity ‒ with a taxpayer-funded paycheck. You will be stopped at the door,” Senator Brown said.