- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - The chief of staff for Guam’s delegate in Congress is on administrative leave as he faces charges of assault and nonconsensual sexual contact.

Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo’s office released a statement Wednesday saying Anne Arundel County Police had arrested 58-year-old John Whitt in Maryland, the Pacific Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/1FiGExS).

He’s been charged with second-degree assault and a sexual offense in the fourth degree, which under Maryland law is defined as engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Whitt agreed to be placed on leave while the case makes its way through Maryland courts “in order to not distract from my official duties as Guam’s delegate to Congress,” according to Bordallo’s statement.

It’s unknown either when Bordallo became aware of the arrest or at which point Whitt was placed on leave. The statement says he served as legislative director to former Delegate Robert Underwood before becoming Bordallo’s chief of staff 13 years ago.

“John has conducted his official duties with professionalism, and he has been a faithful confidant to me throughout my terms in office,” Bordallo said in the statement. “He continues to be an important resource and adviser on the many issues that face our community and our people.”

In 1987, Whitt pleaded guilty to a harassment charge and was sentenced to two years of probation.

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