Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and other public officials saw their estimated net worth, or the sum of what they owned versus what they owed, increase during the pandemic. 

This trend is not unique to Guam's elected and appointed government officials, who were required to file their 2020 financial disclosure statements. Across the United States, the pandemic has been a boom time for public officials and America's richest billionaires.

More public officials were added to the Guam list of those with at least $1 million to their name, partly because they were just elected or appointed in 2020 and had to start filing their financial reports with the Guam Election Commission.

The governor's estimated 2020 net worth was over $4.46 million, a 4% increase from $4.28 million in 2019, her GEC filings show. This is on top of her $90,000 annual salary as governor. She's the former president of Bank of Guam.

Top gainers

Among those with the largest gains during the pandemic is Consolidated Commission on Utilities Commissioner Michael Limtiaco, who reported a net worth of $3.36 million in 2020, a 225% increase from the $1.03 million he reported in 2019.

Limtiaco is owner of Pacific Unlimited and Sigma Plus and has considerable real estate assets. He went from being No. 16 in the 2019 list of those with largest net worth to No. 3 in 2020, with only a partial number of GovGuam officials filing their reports.

Mangilao Mayor Allan Ungacta's estimated net worth jumped by 423%, but the net value of that increase was much smaller than others. He reported $1.15 million in net worth in 2020, significantly higher than the $219,016 he reported in 2019.

Guam Ancestral Lands Commission Executive Director John Burch's estimated net worth jumped by 17.5%, from $1.85 million in 2019 to $2.17 million in 2020.

Guam Community College President Mary Okada reported an estimated net worth of $3.2 million in 2020, a 13.2% increase from her 2019 filings of $2.83 million.

CCU Commissioner Simon Sanchez reported $2.64 million in estimated net worth in 2020, about 9.3% more than his 2019 filing of $2.42 million.

66 filings, 57 more to go

Many of the 66 government of Guam officials who were able to file their 2020 financial disclosure statements with GEC by the April 22 deadline reported increases from their 2019 filings, based on a review of their filings.

At least 57 other GovGuam officials asked for an extension to file, including University of Guam President Thomas Krise, who has topped the list of those with the highest net worth.

Disclosure of personal finances is required among GovGuam's elected and appointed public officials so the public can evaluate potential conflicts of interest, deter corruption and increase public confidence in government.

Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio's net worth increased by nearly 1.8%, from $752,792 in 2019 to $766,275 in 2020.

Some went from being in the red in 2019 to having more assets than liabilities in 2020, including Maj. Gen. Esther Aguigui, the adjutant general of the Guam National Guard. She reported a 2020 estimated net worth of $218,302, a turnaround from having $247,360 more liabilities than assets in 2019.

Here's a partial list of GovGuam officials with the highest estimated net worth in 2020, based on recent filings with GEC:

  1. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, $4.46 million, up from 2019's $4.28 million.
  2. Guam Education Board elected member Robert Crisostomo, $3.82 million, elected in 2020.
  3. CCU Commissioner Michael Limtiaco, $3.36 million, up from 2019's $1.03 million.
  4. GCC President Mary Okada and husband, $3.20 million, up from 2019's $2.83 million.
  5. CCU Commissioner Simon Sanchez, $2.64 million, up from $2019's $2.42 million.
  6. GALC Executive Director John Burch, $2.17 million, up from 2019's $1.85 million.
  7. A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority Executive Manager John Quinata, $2.14 million.
  8. Guam Contractors Licensing Board Executive Director Cecil Orsini, $1.84 million.
  9. PBS Guam General Manager Ina Marie Carillo, $1.67 million, up from 2019's $1.55 million.
  10. Guam Memorial Hospital Administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas, $1.56 million.
  11. Guam Education Board elected member Peter Alecxis Ada, $1.49 million, elected in 2020.
  12. Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola, retired, $1.43 million.
  13. Mangilao Mayor Allan Ungacta, $1.15 million, up from 2019's $219,02.
  14. Yigo Vice Mayor Loreto Leones, $1.03 million, elected for the first time in 2020.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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