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San Nicolas’ attorney points assertion on ethics probe – Pacific Day by day Information

Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK
Published 3:26 p.m. ChT Aug. 4, 2020 | Updated 4:28 p.m. ChT Aug. 4, 2020

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Del. Mike San Nicolas (Photo: Official photo)

An attorney representing Guam Del. Michael San Nicolas, who’s being investigated for alleged ethics violations, Tuesday morning said the ongoing investigation doesn’t mean there was wrongdoing.

The House Committee on Ethics in June announced it would form a subcommittee to investigate:

alleged campaign spending and reporting violations;an allegation that San Nicolas engaged in a sexual relationship with a member of his congressional staff; andan allegation that he interfered or attempted to interfere in a government investigation.

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“We are honored to assist Delegate San Nicolas in his cooperation with the subcommittee’s investigation and look forward to demonstrating that the allegations lodged against him lack merit or substantiation,” attorney Stan Brand said in a statement distributed by San Nicolas via Whatsapp.

Former delegate Robert Underwood, who is a Democratic candidate for Congress, addresses island news organizations during a press conference at his Tamuning campaign headquarters Aug. 4, 2020. (Photo: Steve Limtiaco/PDN)

“I would like to thank the people of Guam for their faith and patience as political ugliness tries to distract from the historic levels of support and outcomes we continue to deliver to the people,” San Nicolas stated.

Robert Underwood, San Nicolas’ opponent in the Democrat primary election, responded Tuesday afternoon, accusing San Nicolas of refusing to answer questions about the ethics allegations and to be held accountable for his record in Congress.

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Underwood said he will continue to raise those issues in his campaign advertising.

“He’s hiding behind his attorney’s statement,” Underwood said during a press conference at his Tamuning campaign headquarters. “He continues to use social media … and now attorneys to avoid confronting the people of Guam.”

“It’s a fundamental obligation for people in public service to present themselves to the public,” Underwood said.

San Nicolas held a press conference Tuesday afternoon from Washington, D.C., stating he can’t talk about the ethics investigation because of his right to due process.

“They know we can’t talk about it,” San Nicolas said, noting former Del. Madeleine Bordallo also was the subject of an ethics investigation during the 2018 elections.

San Nicolas said he didn’t raise that issue in 2018 to allow Bordallo to go through due process.

“I really hope that’s something we can be afforded,” he said.

San Nicolas also defended his voting record in Congress — he has missed about 52% of his opportunities to vote. He said the outcome of the vote usually is predetermined before votes are cast and Guam hasn’t lost out because of his failure to vote on some measures.

“We are very strategic in where we place ourselves and the actions that we take,” San Nicolas said.

Underwood last week told the Rotary Club of Guam that San Nicolas was the only territorial delegate who didn’t work to pass the pandemic relief bill on the House floor. San Nicolas said he has been working to build relationships to make sure Guam is included in “big picture outcomes.”

“(Underwood) doesn’t sit next to me every day and see what I do,” San Nicolas said. “The results speak for themselves.”

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