Confirmation hearings set for Savusa, Haleck, Poumele


Confirmation hearing dates have been scheduled for the Governor’s cabinet nominees for Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety William E. Haleck, Department of Homeland Security director Utualii Iuniasolua Tului Savusa, and director of the Department of Port Administration Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele.

Governor Lolo M. Moliga is urging the Fono leadership and the lawmakers in both chambers to confirm his nominees.

William E. Haleck

The Governor’s nomination for police commissioner, William E. Haleck is scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Public Safety/Homeland Security, chaired by Rep. Su’a Alexander Eli Jennings on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 8:30 a.m.; while Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security/Public Safety Sen. Faletagoa’i Tuiolemotu has scheduled Haleck to appear for a confirmation hearing in the Senate later this week on Friday, Jan. 25.

An exact time is not known, as Haleck will be questioned immediately following the Senate’s confirmation hearing for Homeland Security director nominee at 9 a.m. the same day, before the same Senate committee.

For the past two years, Haleck has been the general manager of the Tradewinds Hotel, a local business owned by his family. Before that, he retired from service in the federal government, having served as a federal security director in the Transportation Security Administration of the US Department of Homeland Security, a special agent in the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and a criminal investigator and senior special agent for the US Drug Enforcement Agency.

Lolo wrote, “With thirty-four years of law enforcement experience, numerous awards and commendations for outstanding contributions, exceptional performance and achievement in federal service, and specialized training in thirty different areas of the law, the American Samoa Department of Public Safety and the people of American Samoa will be fortunate to have Mr. Haleck as their Commissioner.”

Lolo pointed out that Haleck was “born, raised, and began his remarkable career in law enforcement here in American Samoa.” He added, “Though he spent many years serving elsewhere, he has returned home and brought with him not only desire to give back to our people, but a litany of valuable skills and an abundance of knowledge and experience.”


Utualii Iuniasolua Tului Savusa

The Governor’s nomination for director of the Department of Homeland Security, Utualii Iuniasolua Tului Savusa will appear before the House Committee on Homeland Security/Public Safety and Chairman Rep. Su’a Alexander Eli Jennings on Monday, Jan. 28 at 8:30 a.m.

Before his House appearance, he will appear on Friday, Jan. 25 before Chairman Sen. Faletagoa’i Tuiolemotu of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security/Public Safety at 9 a.m. for his confirmation hearing.

Utualii retired after nearly thirty-seven years of service in the US Army with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. At his last post, he was a command senior enlisted leader of the United States Pacific Command where he was an advisor to senior military leaders as to matters affecting enlisted personnel.

Utualii also counseled and advised enlisted personnel regarding objectives and directives given by senior commanders. He played a key role in organizing and coordinating training and assistance to peace keepers and military leaders from other countries. Utualii has also been an essential part of US military and has led humanitarian efforts in the wake of natural and manmade disasters.

Lolo wrote, “With tried and proven leadership ability and the skills to coordinate, achieve, and maintain large scale safety-related objectives and tasks, I am convinced that Utualii will excel in faithfully and dutifully fulfilling his duties as the department of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele

A time and date for Lolo’s nominee for Director of the Department of Port Administration, Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele to appear before the House of Representatives is yet to be scheduled.

However, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation/Port/Airport Sen. Letuligasenoa Soli has scheduled Taimalelagi for a confirmation hearing on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 9 a.m.

Most recently, Taimalelagi was the director of the American Samoa Department of Education under the Togiola/Faoa Administration. Among other degrees and certifications, Taimalelagi holds a doctorate degree in education from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She also received her master’s of education and bachelor of science in secondary education degrees from the University of Portland.

In his letter to the Fono leadership, the Governor notes that as ASDOE director, Taimalelagi managed and had oversight over all public schools in American Samoa. “During her tenure, Dr. Poumele oversaw curriculum development, and implemented key instructional programs, including the evaluation of teachers. She also spearheaded development of a long range building plan to ensure the needs of her department were accommodated. Under her supervision, ASDOE maintenance, renovations, and new construction projects remained on track.”

Lolo concluded, “Dr. Poumele’s leadership abilities and management style will be an asset to the Department of Port Administration. I am confident that she will bring a fresh perspective, a keen eye for efficiency, superb judgment, and the ability to effectively complete projects for the department.”


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