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Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga is yet to announce his nominations for Chief Executive Officer of the LBJ Tropical Medical Center and President of the Development Bank of American Samoa.


There are many rumors that ASPA Executive Director Utu Abe Malae is the top candidate for either position, both of which he has held in previous years. Is it true?


Samoa News responds:


We took your concerns and questions directly to Utu who acknowledged the “rumors” about his plans after he completes his time as ASPA Executive Director.


“Right now, my main focus is getting ASPA to be more efficient and effective with its operations and services, so that relief can be realized with potentially more reductions in other rates and fees,” Utu said via email in response to Samoa News inquiries this past weekend.  


“We need to assess all our operations and see what we can do to cut down on other costs,” he added. Utu said he has not given “any further thought” about what “his calling” will be after ASPA, but added that he will make it known when he knows.


Utu has committed to only six months with ASPA. Governor Lolo’s Executive Assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira told media representatives earlier this year that Utu agreed to take on the job after Lolo asked him for help.


Utu served as the top ASPA official for more than a decade and was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Marianas Utility Corporation.