Daily Archives: 04/03/2003

Tommy Tanaka Going To Jail

Another one bites the dust. Breaking news yesterday that former senator and gubernatorial candidate Tommy Tanaka plead guilty to entering an illegal contract with GovGuam and conspiring to conceal the fact.

I always thought something was fishy back in ’97 & ’98 – Tanaka ran against Carl Gutierrez in 1994, but in ’97 he came out with a full page ad endorsing Gutierrez, and encouraging his supporters to back Gutierrez in the 1998 elections. Right after that he was awarded a lucrative contract to replace all the concrete school bus stops on the island. It stunk to high heaven, and many people suspected a deal was cut. Turns out we were right. The contract was awarded to him without proper bidding and documents faked to make the process look legal. GovGuam used FEMA money from Typhoon Paka restoration efforts to fund this scam, which caught the eye of the U.S. attorneys. Justice will prevail.

Needless to say, this is only the latest in a rash of convictions. Yesterday another high level GovGuam employee was indicted on theft charges. And airport officials are talking to U.S. attorneys about the spendthrift ways of the previous administration. I think everyone on Guam is waiting with bated breath to see how far up the federal government will go. It’s no secret they are gunning for Gutierrez, but will they collect evidence enough to make a conviction stick?