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Taitano, who currently is employed as the Interim Superintendent of the Department of Education, has been named the National Committee Woman for the Guam Democratic Party and is expected to attend the democratic caucus later this year. Guam law however does not allow unclassified employees of the Government of Guam to hold party offices or participate in political activities such as caucuses.
CSC Executive Director Alberto Lamerena says however that there are two conflicting laws on the commission's jurisdiction over the matter.
One is 4-GCA which is the law that enables the Civil Service Commission, in that law it says we have no jurisdiction over unclassified employees. Now in the mini hatch act it does state that we do have jurisdiction over unclassified employees,” Lamerena explains. “So because of that conflict the board has decided rather than moving forward to request from the Attorney General's Office an opinion to see if we do in fact have jurisdiction and then from that point we'll move forward. “
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A bill introduced into the legislature by Vice Speaker BJ Cruz earlier this year would allow classified and unclassified employees to participate in political activities. Bill 419 would update Guam's mini-hatch act to match federal law.
The Vice Speaker's bill which we testified in favor of would allow employees both classified and unclassified to have greater flexibility in political activities,” Lamerena told PNC. But the Commission's support does not mean Taitano's case would be ignored if the bill was passed as written.
“In order to include the Taling Taitano's case the Vice Speaker would have to put a clause in there that would grandfather her in because I believe his piece of legislation would be moving forward so since this was done prior to that bill if its gets passed and signed into law it would not cover her. So there would have to be a section in there that would actually grandfather prior cases in ,” Lamerena said.
Bill 419 has been placed on the agenda for Tuesday's legislative session.
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