Eastern District ledger expenses mirror Western's
As of May 6, 2013 the remainder of the $1million for the Eastern District is $29,804.31 and Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has said the remaining funds will be used to set up an emergency reserve account.
The three districts, Eastern, Western and Manu’a, each received in 2009, $1million to carry out capital improvement projects from a $20 Million loan the government made with the ASG Employees Retirement Fund.
(Samoa News should point out that the districts actually got only $900,000, as 10% of the money was ‘used’ for administrative costs. To date, there is no public record as to what exactly these administrative costs entailed.)
According to the Eastern District ledger report obtained by Samoa News, the first check was issued on July 23, 2009 in the name of Tapatonu Gaoteote, in the amount of $3,040 (Ch#1265). He was the Eastern District Governor at the time.
Of interest, in the Western District ledger report, the first two checks issued were in the same amount — each for $3,040. Those checks went to Joyita Satele, and her son, Galu Satele (Check # 1263/1264). Another check was issued to “Galu Satele” in the amount of $5,000 (Check#1904) at a later date and Satele Galu Satele (the current head of Samoan Affairs and former Western District Governor) has disputed all three entries. He told Samoa News that the information indicated in the ledger is inaccurate or false, and said no more.
The second check in the Eastern ledger list was issued to Worldwide Travel on July 23, 2009 in the amount of $1,206.20 (Ch#1267), and again, there is a similar transaction in the Western District Ledger — only for two checks, and both are issued to the same travel agency, with the same amount, on the same date.
The next two entries in the Eastern ledger show there were two transfers from the General Fund to ASO-Hawai’i in the amount of $1,410 on July 24, 2009 and $3,201.40 on July 28, 2009. In addition there was a check issued to the Samoan Heritage Committee of $25,000 (Ch#1272) on August 19, 2009.
Again, referencing the Western District ledger, there are two ASO-Hawai’i transfers for $1,410, on the same day as the Eastern District ledger item, and on July 28th, the same day as the Eastern ledger item — there are three transfers to ASO-Hawai’i also, two for $1,810.40 each and one for $670. There was also a similar check issued to the Samoan Heritage Committee for $25,000, which brings the amount to $50,000 total the Hawai’i event received in 2009 — so far.
(Samoa News was told that it is possible that the first entries in the two districts’ ledgers are travel expenses by their respective district governors and other leaders to the 2009 Samoan Heritage Week, which took place in July. If this is the case — then it’s possible the ASO-Hawai’i is the American Samoa Office in Hawai’i — which also received money from the two districts.)
Another check that stood out in the Eastern ledger is a $35,000 check issued to the Arts Council on June 30, 2012, because there is again a similar expenditure in the Western District ledger for $40,000. Strangely, while the checks are for different amounts, they are noted as being issued on the same day with the same check number — #1905.
The Eastern District ledger also shows that large amounts were issued to certain individuals, again similar to the Western District ledger. In this case, some amounts of note are:
Alo Stevenson — was issued a $30,000 (Ch#1882) on March 31, 2010
Afuola Kalasa Nanai received $10,500 (Ch#1903) issued on May 31, 2012
Stephen Leasiolagi received $7,446 (Ch#1837) on January 1, 2012
In addition, of interest, were several businesses that received money from the Eastern District $1 million share:
Tini P Lam Yuen Company Inc. was issued a check for $10,000 (Ch# 1729) on November 1, 2010;
The ANZ- Amerika Samoa Bank was issued a check for $30,197.03 (Ch#1896) on May 23, 2012; and,
A total of $6,695 was paid to T&T Recycle and Salvage, a trash collecting company, owned by Paramount Chief Mauga Tasi Asuega, with the first check of $1622 (Ch# 1568) issued on September 10, 2010; $2485 (Ch#1675) issued on October 19, 2010; $200 (Ch#1779) issued on April 26, 2011; $3,060(Ch#1807) issued on September 9, 2011; and $950 (Ch#1830) issued on January 23, 2012.
There are checks that were issued to various village councils, which unlike the Western District ledger were not to the leading matai of the villages.
For example, the Pago Pago Village Council received $25,000 (Ch#1373) on January 29, 2010, Alao Village Council $30,000 (Ch# 1520) issued on August 27, 2010; Fagasa Village Council received $20,000 (Ch#1710) on October 26, 2010; Nu’uuli Village Council $30,000 (Ch#1751) issued on February 11, 2011, Aoa Village Council received $57,000 (Ch#1895) issued on May 23, 2012 and Fagasa Village Council received an additional $12,000 on May 31, 2012.
Fagatogo faipule Mauagaoali’i Leapai Sipa Anoa’i told Samoa News at the time he was the Fagatogo faipule that he was under the impression that no check was to be issued to any village or any one person, and the funds were for some of their capital improvement projects. Fagatogo was to receive $25,000 as their share from the $1million.
He pointed out that Fagatogo funding was issued straight to Vailu’u Trucking ($1950) another check to Tool Shop in the amount of $3425, with another check issued to Sepp’s Paint Shop for $391— all issued on March 29, 2010, which were to pay for the materials that were used for a sidewalk and pathway, and also to assist in the repair of their fautasi, the Iseula.
Mauagoalii also explained that a $15,000 check was then requested to pay their boat builder, however the village opted to cancel that initiative and so the money was returned. He says to his understanding, there’s about $7,000 of Fagatogo funding that remains with the Eastern District funds.
Samoa News points out that a check of $7,446 was issued to Steven Leasiolagi when he was the Fagatogo faipule, and Fagatogo residents noted that some of the money was used in the repair of the Iseula fautasi, while other residents are asking why that check was issued in the first place.
Another interesting outlay of money in the Eastern District ledger is to churches — unlike the Western District ledger, which has no funds, released to any church.
The three churches that received funds are:
Matu’u and Faganeanea Congregational Christian Church received $20,000 (Ch#1831) on January 23, 2012;
CCCAS Amouli Village received $15,000 (Ch#1811) on October 31, 2011; and,
The Catholic Church in Amouli received $5,000 (Ch#1812), also on October 31, 2011.
Samoa News was told by Reverend Fouvale Asiata — for the Matu’u and Fagneanea CCC funds — that the Chiefs of their village met and decided to get this funding to build a Community Hall next to the church. This building, he said, is also built to withstand hurricanes and disasters, which church members, villagers and the public can utilize as a shelter in times of disasters.
Samoa News will report on other expenditures listed in the Eastern District ledger in later issues, which include large payouts to construction and trucking companies; and, there are also what seem to be bi-weekly payouts that began in 2010 that look like reoccurring payroll payments to certain individuals.