Friday was last day at DOI for Ass't Secretary Babauta
Guam - In the midst of an ongoing Office of Inspector General investigation, this past Friday marked the last day on the job for Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta. In his letter to President Barack Obama, he thanked him for the opportunity and honor to be the first native islander to hold the position.
It was in November the Office of the Inspector General launched an investigation into Babauta's travel and some DOI grant awards he allegedly approved. Babauta in a letter to his boss DOI Secretary Ken Salazar did not provide a specific reason why he was resigning but said it was a privilege to serve over the past four years in changing the direction of policy and improving relationships between the federal government and the U.S. territories and states in the Free Association.
He added that he believes that his work shaped by island values as well as congressional experience improved the Office of Insular Affairs and more importantly benefitted my fellow island brothers and sisters.
Babuata further wrote that his tenure as assistant secretary has been a rewarding experience "with your strong leadership, my office has been able to continue our efforts in the islands to improve infrastructure, build professional capacity, and respond quickly to any emergencies. Your support has allowed us to make investments in education, public safety, and the workforce. We have set a new level of expected engagement between the department and the islands."
Along with UOG president Dr. Robert Underwood, Governor Eddie Calvo was one of the few people interviewed by OIG investigators recently when they visited Guam as part of the probe into Babauta. Calvo says despite the investigation, Babauta was good for Guam. "I must say for Tony Babauta and his time as assistant secretary he did a lot of good work for the people of Guam so I want to thank him for all the work he has done and again we look forward moving forward that for Tony good things will happen for him," he said. "I'll let the federal authorities move into whatever happens but as far as I'm concerned from the work that he's done for Guam and the people of the territories I want to congratulate him he did a job well done."
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