Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas must present himself to the public and open up for scrutiny instead of resorting to one-way communication through brief posts on social media if not hiding behind his attorney, former congressman Robert Underwood said Tuesday.
Underwood is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination in the primary, challenging San Nicolas, a first-term delegate, who is facing investigation before the Office of Congressional Ethics. The Democratic candidate will run against Republican Sen.Wil Castro, who is running unopposed.
“It is important that Delegate San Nicolas speak to the specifics of the investigation and not have his lawyer issue press releases,” said Underwood. “Delegate San Nicolas has made many false public statements about my record that are negative as well as factually incorrect. Instead of arguing that, San Nicolas is attacking me and using negative campaign tactics. I respond on the record, and point out Delegate San Nicolas is factually incorrect or dishonest."
San Nicolas is being investigated for allegedly accepting and failing to disclose excessive campaign contributions and for allegedly having an in appropriate relationship with a staffer.
“While our two-stage investigative process is confidential, in almost all circumstances, OCE cases sent to the Ethics Committee must become public. The House Committee of Ethics agreed the allegations warranted investigation first in October 2019,” said Underwood, former president of the University of Guam.
“Then in June 2020, the Committee on Ethics added additional charges to be investigated and appointed a Special Subcommittee to Investigate San Nicolas. The additional charges are outlined in the two documents issued by the House Committee on Ethics,” he added.
Underwood also questioned San Nicolas’ performance in office, saying the incumbent delegate has missed voting on several issues pertaining to Guam. “He also stands out for having the worst voting record this term, missing about 52 percent of votes he could’ve cast for Guam,” Underwood said.
Underwood also slammed San Nicolas for refusing to come home and engage the people of Guam. ‘He does not want to be here. When I was in office, I had 77 village meetings,” Underwood said.
He said he repeatedly asked San Nicolas to agree to multiple debates but the delegate “continues to refuse and avoids being held accountable for his actions and record.”
“My campaign ad, press releases and my public statements communicate to the voters and the people of Guam that Michael San Nicolas has a lot to explain and he refuses to. As candidates for office the public and their court of opinion is the arena we compete in and it is the voters who have the final decision of what issues are important.”
The Pacific Island Times contacted San Nicolas fr comment but the delegate has not responded as of this writing.