Guam – An emotional Democrat Senator Dennis Rodriguez, who’s running for governor, confirmed that his running mate, Guam Department of Education teacher David Cruz was fired from his job as a result of what he believes to be “dirty politics.”
Cruz, a retired Air Force colonel who was teaching the ROTC class at JFK High School, went from a classified position to an unclassified, contractual position to be able to run for office.
His contract was approved by GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez and signed off by Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson and Governor Calvo.
Rodriguez was on News Talk K57 this morning with host Patti Arroyo, his voice quivering as he announced the news.
“I get kind of emotional about this issue because Dave is a real good man, an honorable man and he’s not a politician, Patti. And clearly, what has happened to him, he’s become a victim of this of dirty politics,” said Rodriguez.
Had Cruz’s contract not been approved, Rodriguez says the outcome may be different today.
“He was very honest and up front from the very beginning on how he worked with DOE. He went in there and said he wanted to change his status in order to run for public office. They gave him that opportunity to do so. Had they been honest with him as well and the response was different, I think things may have been different,” noted Rodriguez.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Jon Fernandez would not answer media inquiries on Cruz’s termination, saying he is reserving comment since Cruz’s employment is a personnel matter.
While it’s not clear whose decision it was to terminate Cruz, it should be noted that Fernandez had previously defended the change in Cruz’s employment status.
Last week, however, former Sen. Bob Klitzkie called Cruz’s employment illegal because he does not meet the exemptions in law that would allow him to run for office while holding a government job. Fernandez told Klitzkie that he would send his concerns to the Attorney General’s Office.
PNC inquired with the AG’s office and we’re told the attorney general did not issue an opinion or memorandum regarding Cruz’s contract.