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Lelei Peau to be removed from “pending” payout list

ASG Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ M. Pili plans to remove from the list of “pending” payout, the name of Commerce Department deputy director Lelei Peau, who says he never requested such payouts and that he is a career service employee.


Samoa News reported last week Monday that the Senate Government Operations Committee has received the report from the ASG on the payout to cabinet members and contract workers as well as the governor and lieutenant governor of the last administration.


Also in that report, is a one-page report labeled “pending” — covering six employees including Peau, whose pending payout gross amounts to $45,935.


In a memo dated last week Monday, Peau requested Pili to provide clarification regarding the information reported by the media that morning on his pending payout. “I was not aware that I was on this list. I have not made a request for such payout as I am a career service employee,” he wrote.


Peau requested Pili to explain how his name got on the list. Copies of the memo were sent to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Commerce Department director Keniseli Lafaele.


Peau served as DOC acting director from April 2012 to the end of last year following the sudden passing of the late DOC director Faleseu Eliu Paopao.


Asked for reaction to Peau’s letter, Pili told Samoa News last Thursday morning that his office plans to remove the deputy director’s name from the list of pending payouts, adding that Peau is correct “that he is a career service employee.”


Because Peau was also the acting director for DOC for several months his name automatically went into the list of payouts when the paperwork was processed and ended up on the list when the Lolo administration took office, said Pili, while waiting in the Senate chamber for a committee hearing.


Also on the list of “pending” payouts to be processed is Health Department deputy director, Seiuli Elizabeth Ponausuia, another career service employee, who was also acting director from 2011 until the end of 2012, when the Togiola administration left office. Pending payout for Seiuli is listed as $27,026.


Asking about Seiuli’s situation, Pili said he would also check into this matter, because she is a career service employee, and the deputy director was acting director for some time.


Another person listed on payout is former Territorial Auditor, Robert Dantini, whose pending amount to be paid is $3,076. Dantini, who was a contract employee, said via email from the U.S. that he has not been paid for “accrued leave and am still waiting for a travel expense reimbursement related to an expense report submitted in December.”


Samoa News was not able to locate others listed on the pending list, to ask if they in fact requested payouts and if they had received the payouts.