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DPS Commissioner tells officers he is proud of them, despite bad press


Despite what the news media says about the Department of Public Safety, the department is still investigating cases and sending them to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution, according to Police Commissioner William Haleck during his brief comments at last Thursday’s DPS award recognition ceremony for outstanding officers of the quarter.
The commissioner acknowledged during his remarks that even police officers are not exempted from being investigated or prosecuted — as this has occurred before, with a recent case now pending in court.

Tofaeono plea agreement accepted by High Court


Chief Justice Michael Kruse has accepted the plea agreement between the government and the hospital’s former Business Manager, Jennifer Tofaeono. The plea agreement, which was under advisement last week, has Tofaeono pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit felony stealing, amended from the stealing count. The initial charges filed against Tofaeono were tampering with evidence, stealing and embezzlement. Prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.

DBAS files 12th 1602 civil suit


The Development Bank of American Samoa (DBAS) has filed their latest civil suit with the High Court against one of its customers who failed to comply with conditions of the section 1602 housing program contract. To date there are a total of 12 civil cases, including the new one against Eddie and Bernadette Fruean.
According to the court documents, in December 2010 the Frueans were awarded an $85,000 section 1602 grant.

Gov “cannot in all good conscience” submit LBJ’s proposed FY2015 budget

FY2014 budget for hospital submitted instead — for now

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has declared that LBJ Medical Center is “reaching crisis proportions” requiring greater scrutiny of the budget for the territory’s only medical center. The hospital’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal has been kept by the governor at the FY 2014 ceiling level, saying he cannot in good conscious submit the additional $28.8 million requested by the hospital in its budget request.

Revenue projection for FY2015 has over $2Mil drop


A slight drop of 2% in the FY2015 proposed ASG budget is due to less money seen collected “in the tax revenues, fees and permits, as well as charges for services being offset by increases in licenses and permits, miscellaneous, and transfers in revenue categories between the current and next fiscal years,” said Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his FY 2015 budget cover letter. The FY2015 budget was sent in PDF form to the Legislature for budget approval, yesterday morning.

TCF police officer found guilty of assault in jury trial

Police brutality against inmate witnessed by fellow officers

Guilty was the verdict rendered by a jury of five women and two men in the case of Police Officer Sianava Nu’usila, who was facing charges of third degree assault and public peace disturbance. The officer, who works for the Tafuna Correctional Facility, was charged earlier this year with misdemeanors on allegations of police brutality of an inmate who had escaped from jail.
The presiding District Court Judge, Elvis Pila Patea, has scheduled sentencing next month for the officer, who’s out on his own recognizance.

Hawaiian Air's Wednesday night Pago flight delayed


Hawaiian Airlines’ flight from Honolulu last night has been delayed and is expected to arrive in Pago Pago early Thursday afternoon.
A public notice issued by the local Hawaiian office says the flight is due to arrive in Pago Pago around 12:40p.m. and depart for Honolulu around 2:10p.m.  Arrival time in Honolulu is set for after 8:30p.m. 
Today’s check in at Pago Pago begins at 9a.m with the security checkpoint opening at 11:30a.m. Boarding begins at 1:10p.m.

Senate will go forward with line item veto lawsuit

... with or without the House

Even if it does so without the House, the Senate will move forward with a lawsuit over the way the governor line-item vetoed part of the fiscal year 2014 budget, and this will be done before the start of the new fiscal year 2015 budget review, declared Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie.

Fono calls for WestPac to leave 50nm zone in place

Deeds of Cession included preservation of waters and indigenous rights

The American Samoa Legislature is requesting that the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council  (WPRFMC) maintain in effect the 50 nautical mile (nm) zone which prohibits large vessel fishing in the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of American Samoa waters, and objects to any reduction in the current restricted area.

Sr police officer caught in alleged shakedown


Senior police officer Poe Leapai, who has been with the Department of Public Safety for some 17 years, was arrested and criminally charged on Monday on allegations that while in uniform he allegedly placed dead cockroaches in the food he would buy from certain stores run by Asians, and then ask the store owners for money in return for not contacting the Department of Health.

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