Former government communications director Troy Torres on Friday filed a complaint against Andri Baynum, chairman of Guamanians for Fair Government that supports the Aguon-Limtico team, for alleged violation of the Mini Hatch Act.
The complaint submitted to the Civil Service Commission noted that Baynum, a teacher IV at Simon Sanchez High School, is a classified employee, "whose allowances and restrictions on political activities are very clearly defined in the Mini Hatch Act. The law is codified in Title 4, Chapter 5 of the Guam Code Annotated.”
Torres noted that the Mini Hatch Act specifically prohibits classified employees from organizing political campaigns and raising funds for political candidates.
Baynum’s political group, along with Ken Leon Guerrero’s Citizens for Government Accountability, is spearheading the write-in campaign for Sen. Frank Aguon and his running mate former US attorney Alicia Limtiaco, who lost in the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial primary on Aug. 25.
“Not only has Baynum raised funds for the write-in candidacy of a certain gubernatorial campaign, he has used his political action committee to lead the effort and to collect that money,” Torres said,
“While ignorance of the law is no defense for its offenders, in this case Baynum should have known he was violating the law because he has spent quite some time in the recent past opining about this very law,” Torres said.
He noted that Baynum has become “somewhat of an authority” on the Mini Hatch Act, educating the public via talk radio about the violations of other public employees engaged in prohibited political activities.
“As Mr. Baynum was fond of saying, when the teaching contract Col. David Cruz entered with the Department of Education met with controversy because of his political activities - namely his candidacy for public office, ‘the law is the law’,” Torres said.
The Aguon-Limtiaco team narrowly lost to the Lou Leon Guerrero and Josh Tenorio team who are the official gubernatorial candidates of the Democratic Party.