Decolonization commission chief resigns to clear campaign path

BLAS: Amanda Blas testifies at a roundtable meeting in the Guam Congress Building in Hagåtña, June 27. Blas has resigned from her leadership role at the Commission on Decolonization. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Amanda Blas has resigned from her job as the executive director of the Commission on Decolonization to lift a cloud on her senatorial bid.

"I want to remove any further question of my eligibility to run for senator," Blas said Wednesday.

She thanked Gov. Eddie Calvo for the opportunity she received to serve as the commission's executive director and previously as a special assistant.

Blas gave up her pay and benefits, which cost taxpayers $103,979 a year. She led the commission for 15 months.

Before her resignation, the Civil Service Commission had been assessing a complaint against Blas and another senatorial candidate who were questioned for keeping their government jobs while campaigning for elected positions.

The complaint was submitted by Ken Leon-Guerrero, the spokesman for Guam Citizens for Public Accountability. He stated that Blas was in violation of the law that prohibits GovGuam employees from running for office if they remain in their government jobs.

In his complaint, Leon-Guerrero included Guam Department of Labor special projects coordinator Michelle Taitano, who also resigned from her job, GDOL confirmed recently.

Taitano gave up her $71,957-a-year job, including benefits.

Several special assistants in the governor's office are running for senator.

Special assistants are specifically exempted under Guam law from the prohibition on public officials campaigning for elected office.

Here are some executive branch officials who are running for elected office:

• Governor's special assistant and senatorial candidate Alfredo Antolin, who costs taxpayers $84,060 a year, including benefits;


• Governor's special assistant senatorial candidate Julius Santos, who costs taxpayers $75,270 a year, including benefits;

• Governor's special assistant and senatorial candidate Telo Taitague, who costs taxpayers $70,182 a year, including benefits;

• Governor's special assistant and senatorial candidate Jose San Agustin, who costs taxpayers $86,185 a year, including benefits;

• Former senator, and governor's special assistant and lieutenant governor candidate Tony Ada, who costs taxpayers $81,533 a year, including benefits; and

• Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities Director Benito Servino, a senatorial candidate whose pay and benefits cost taxpayers $95,229 a year.