By Jacob Nakamura
After weeks of Vice Speaker Telena Nelson criticizing the Port Authority for hiring employees with criminal records, Kandit News has confirmed that Senator Nelson recently hired a staff member with a federal conviction in the U.S. District Court.
Yet again another case of the legislature showing unheard of levels of hypocrisy.
Vice Speaker Telena Nelson has gone as far as calling for 2-days of hearings into the Port and demanding access to employee files so she can find out who has criminal records. These demands have been made despite Nelson knowing it is not against the law for employees to have criminal records.
Vice Speaker Telena Nelson has even demanded an audit at the Civil Service Commission of all employees hired from 2017 to current who have criminal records and wants a justification for their hiring.
Nelson even issued out a press release criticizing the hiring of anyone with a criminal record and said “While I continue to have confidence in the Port’s merit system, we must listen to the concerns of our community and ensure that our government is hiring qualified workers deserving of the taxpayer’s dime. An additional audit of the Port will help us understand the Port’s hiring process and the measures they take to provide our people the gold standard of public service.”
On January 4, 2021 Nelson hired onto her staff Renee Pope as a legislative analyst.
According to court records, Pope was convicted in U.S District Court of Guam of Larceny and Entering Military, Naval, or Coast Guard Property. She pled guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to 36 months federal probation on each charge to be served concurrently. Vice Speaker Nelson’s staff member was released from federal probation in 2002.
It would appear that either Nelson never turned that spotlight on her own staff or she doesn’t believe those standards apply to her and her staff. Either way the smell of hypocrisy is pretty strong down at the Guam Legislature. This revelation by Kandit follows our exposure of Vice Speaker Nelson and Senator Joanne Brown criticizing the Port for not doing enough random drug tests even though the Legislature is refusing to even follow their own drug-free workplace program which Nelson and Brown voted in favor of on January 4 of this year.