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Pacific News Minute: Guam’s Congressional Delegate Faces Ethics Investigation

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a tough year for Guam. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed accusing Catholic priests there of sexual abuse and, more recently, North Korea’s threatened to fire missiles at the island. Now, Guam’s representative in the U.S. Congress faces an ethics investigation…we have details from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

The Pacific Daily News reports that the House Ethics committee is looking into three allegations against Delegate Madeleine Bordallo. According to documents published by the committee, Bordallo rented a property she owns in Guam to the Japanese consul that could mean that she accepted profits from a foreign government.

Over a number of years, she allegedly lived for free at the Outrigger Guam resort, which is owned by her sister’s family. According to the documents, her sister and brother-in-law ended that arrangement when they became aware of it. Unwilling to pay for her rooms and meals herself, Bordallo allegedly used official funds.

Originally from Minnesota, she met and married Ricardo “Ricky” Bordallo who served two terms as Governor of Guam in the 1970s and 80s. He committed suicide in 1990 after being convicted on federal charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. His widow failed in a gubernatorial campaign of her own in 1990, but was elected as Guam’s first female Lieutenant Governor, then became the first female Democrat elected to Guam’s legislature. In 2003, she went to Washington as Guam’s non-voting delegate to congress, and won re-election every two years afterwards.

The allegations against Delegate Bordallo were referred to the House Ethics committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics. A referral does not mean that violations occurred, but does mean that further investigation will get underway.

Over 36 years with National Public Radio, Neal Conan worked as a correspondent based in New York, Washington, and London; covered wars in the Middle East and Northern Ireland; Olympic Games in Lake Placid and Sarajevo; and a presidential impeachment. He served, at various times, as editor, producer, and executive producer of All Things Considered and may be best known as the long-time host of Talk of the Nation. Now a macadamia nut farmer on Hawaiʻi Island, his "Pacific News Minute" can be heard on HPR Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
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