- Pacific Island Times Staff
DOE axes Lt. Gov candidate Colonel Dave Cruz
Department of Education may face a court fight to justify dismissal
After lengthy efforts to clear the legal way for his candidacy for lieutenant governor on the gubernatorial ticket with Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. while remaining in the classroom, director of instruction for the Junior ROTC program at John F. Kennedy High School, Retired Air Force Colonel Dave Cruz got some bad news from the DOE: A termination.
Until March, Cruz had been a regular Guam government employee, but he was switched to an employment contract to provide services, on the theory that this would allow him to continue teaching while seeking the office, rather than resigning to run per Guam law.
Former Senator Robert Kltitzkie challenged the contractual arrangement, saying that Cruz' work did not amount to a 'professional service.'
"At the end of the day, my contract was terminated for no other reason than the fact that I’m running for lieutenant governor. I was discriminated against for political reasons," Colonel Cruz said.
“What’s most important to me in this issue is that my students know that I did not abandon them," Cruz said. We tried what we could to make a run for this office without interrupting my time in the classroom as a ROTC teacher. We went through the process we were told we had to take and we were very clear what our intentions were. At the end of the day, my contract was terminated for no other reason than the fact that I’m running for lieutenant governor. I was discriminated against for political reasons. If there’s a silver lining here it’s that I now can concentrate all my time as a candidate. I’m excited to be on the campaign trail to spread our message of ending corruption and turning this economy and government around so that it works for the people most often forgotten by the politicians and the elite. Jenny [Cruz] and I will overcome this contract termination issue one way or another. That includes reserving our option to take this matter to court.”
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