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Paepae confirmed unanimously

Senator Fonoti Tafa'ifa Aufata with Senator Paepae Iosefa Faiai who was confirmed yesterday by the Senate as an associate judge of the High Court of American Samoa. [photo: FS]

In a show of support of Sen. Paepae Iosefa Faiai 's nomination as associate judge of the High Court, all 11 senators present during yesterday’s Senate session voted “yes” by roll-call, instead of “by secret ballot” which — according to Senate rules — is how senators vote on confirmation of nominees.

The action by senators followed a request by Sen. Faiivae Iuli Godinet to vote by “roll call”, saying Paepae is a senatorial colleague. In support of the recommendation, Sen. Tuaolo Manaia Fruean moved to first “waive” Senate Rules on confirmation vote, and his fellow senators agreed.

Paepae thanked his colleagues for the blessing given to him — through the confirmation vote — saying he will very much miss all the senators, as he prepares to leave the Legislature to join the Judicial Branch. 

An official Senate farewell for Paepae is slated for early next week, at which time he will also officially step down as a lawmaker.

Yesterday’s vote followed Paepae’s confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Government Operations Committee (see yesterday’s edition for details).

According to the Chief Justice, Paepae is the Leone HS Class of 1981 valedictorian and after graduation, he enlisted in the US Army, serving 21 years with a career emphasis in aviation.

Paepae attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and in 2002, retired from the Army at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer III. He returned to the territory to serve his family, village and the American Samoa community.

With his military background in aviation and a US Federal Aviation Administration certification as an Airline Transport Pilot, Paepae initially worked with the local inter island airlines as a pilot and chief from 2002 to 2009. He later worked for three years with ASG, managing and flying the ASG ‘Segaula’ aircraft.

Aside from his senatorial role, Paepae is also a ranking member and treasurer of the Nua and Se’etaga council of chiefs. He is a deacon and member of the CCCAS Nua and Se’etaga church, where he served as chairman and a member of its general finance committee.


The Senate and House yesterday approved in third reading their respective versions of an Administration bill that seeks to amend the Territorial Bank of American Samoa statute by deleting several provisions of the law pertaining to the bank’s “Holding Company: — Territorial Bancorp Holding Company."

The House convened at 8a.m. yesterday, earlier than the usual 10a.m. session time to approve its version of the bill which was then immediately transmitted to the Senate, where it went through first reading yesterday. The bill will be presented today on the Senate floor for second reading, with third reading on Monday.

During its 10a.m. session yesterday, the Senate approved in third reading its version of the bill, which now goes to the House.

The Fono this week also approved a Senate Concurrent Resolution which “conveys the heartfelt condolence and utmost sympathies” of the Fono and people of American Samoa to Mrs. Sia Grohse Salanoa as well as the Salanoa and Aumoeualogo families on the passing of former Sen. Salanoa Soli Aumoeualogo.

The resolution, passed Wednesday by the Senate and yesterday by the House, also pays tribute to Salanoa’s extensive service to his beloved home of American Samoa.

Final funeral service for Salanoa, 78, is scheduled for today at the CCCAS Tula church followed by a burial service at his residence in Tafuna.

The Fono approved resolution will be read today during the church service.

Salanoa is survived by his wife, Sia Grohse Salanoa, 10 children, 23 grandchildren, and one-great-grandchild.