Terms expired, but unreplaced: Retirement Board members will take junket to Chicago

Despite being rejected in the House on Monday as continuing Retirement Board members, Aleki Sene (Chairman) and Senator Magalei Logovi’i, along with Faoa Aitofele Sunia will still travel to the annual retirement board meeting to be held in Chicago, slated for later this month. This was confirmed by the Retirement Office Director Lua’atua Filisouoaiga Taafua.

 

In response to Samoa News queries the Director confirmed that Sene, Magalei, Faoa and the newest member of the Board, Toafala Iafeta received $9,000 checks for this specific trip — for airfare, meals and accommodations.

 

He said the $9,000 checks were issued for Aleki, Magalei and Faoa several weeks ago, while the check for Toafala was just handed to him during his first meeting with the Retirement Board last week Friday.

 

Asked as to why Aleki, Magalei and Faoa are going on this trip when they have been rejected, the Director explained that despite the rejection by the Fono, Sene, Magalei and Faoa are still sitting members of the board as they have not been replaced.

 

“The new members who were recently confirmed, are replacing other board members, such as Fanene (Morris Scanlan) and Brandt Judy, who resigned last year, and also the two new additional members which were added last year by the Administration,” said Lua’atua.

 

“The law is clear,” he added, “unless the old members are replaced, they remain on the board.”

 

The Retirement Office Director further explained that the newly confirmed members, Sonny Thompson, Beaver Ho-Ching and Maaelopa Tuiasosopo will not travel on this trip as the registration for this meeting ended several weeks ago.

 

Lua’atua told Samoa News that Sene is still the Chairman of the Retirement Board, and the board meeting for April has already taken place. He said the new members will have to wait for the meeting in May to sit on the board.

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