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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Dededo Official Arrested For Terroristic Threats On Guam
If convicted, Vice Mayor Benavente may be removed

By Cameron Miculka

HAGTA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Feb. 21, 2013) – On Guam, Dededo's vice mayor was arrested Tuesday evening and is accused of threatening to kill a woman known to him.

Vice Mayor Andrew Benavente, 51, was taken into custody and confined following a complaint to police.

A little before 9 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a terrorizing complaint in Dededo, according to Guam Police Department spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia.

Balajadia said police arrested the vice mayor on suspicion of family violence and terrorizing.

If Benavente is charged with those crimes and then convicted, it could end the vice mayor's career as a public official. He was first elected in 2004.

Under Guam law, those convicted of felonies or "any crime involving moral turpitude," are not qualified to hold the office of mayor or vice mayor.

If there is a vacancy in a vice mayoral seat, Guam law states the governor shall appoint a replacement after receiving non-binding recommendations from the village Municipal Planning Council.

Both of the crimes Benavente is accused of are serious enough to merit his removal.

Family violence can be either a third-degree felony or misdemeanor, depending on the details of the crime and the court's decision. Terrorizing is a third-degree felony, according to Guam law.

Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares declined to comment.

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