DHS Director forcibly removed from Governor's office following altercation
Director of Homeland Security Utuali’i Iuniasolua Savusa was restrained and forcibly removed from the governor’s office yesterday by the Governor’s Head of Security, Police Commander Alapati Fano.
The DHS Director was removed while attending a meeting with the Governor’s Executive Assistant, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, where the DHS Director swore at Iu.
Samoa News was at the governor’s office when the incident took place, and while waiting in the hallway heard Utuali’i loudly using profanity to Iu.
The DHS Director asked Iu why he was “questioning” Utuali’i's “leadership skills.”
Commander Fano, who was at the office, intervened and restrained the DHS Director, then removing him from the governor’s office.
Samoa News understands the DHS Director was upset that a letter which Governor Lolo had written to him had been leaked to the media. The said letter is the one in which the governor pointed out complaints on issues such as the last minute cancellation of a church service for the National Preparedness Month in September, a recent accident involving a DHS vehicle and a non-functioning outdoor siren system in Ofu.
“This is very embarrassing for our administration and incidents of such nature create the perception of incompetence, lack of proper thought and planning and lack of professionalism on our part,” the governor had written to the DHS Director.
In response to this letter the DHS Director issued a public apology.
The DHS Director told Samoa News after the incident that he was expecting a phone call from the governor on this matter.
Samoa News understands the Governor’s Executive Assistant is keen on the promise made by their administration when they first took over — as stated by Governor Lolo on numerous occasions — that this administration will be transparent in all that they do.
Among the moves made by Lolo in his promise of transparency, he has invited the media to the monthly cabinet meetings. It is the first time since the establishment of ASG that media is allowed to sit in at the cabinet meetings.
Furthermore, the media has access to the general memorandums and the letters sent by the governor to his directors, whether positive or negative.
Emails and calls to the governor for a comment on this incident were not immediately answered.
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