Two Cabinet posts named during inaugural speech

During his inauguration speech, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga announced two more cabinet posts, including Secretary of Samoan Affairs, which is one of two posts that Lolo and Lt. Gov. Lemanu stated they would personally select.

Afoa M.S. Lutu as attorney general was first announced last month during a campaign committee meeting and Lolo made the official public announcement toward the end of his inauguration speech, along with the two other cabinet appointments.

He said Satele Galu T. Satele Sr. is appointed to the post of Secretary of Samoan Affairs while the post of Commissioner of Public Safety— or Police Commissioner— is taken up by William Haleck.

Satele has been serving as Western District Governor since December 2008 and prior to that served in various posts in the Executive Branch. He also served as Chief Customs Officer several years ago.

According to the constitution, the Secretary of Samoan Affairs shall be appointed by the governor from among the leading registered matai and “shall hold office during the pleasure of the governor.” The Secretary of Samoan Affairs shall be the head of the Department of Local Government (better known as the Office of Samoan Affairs). 

Although it’s considered a cabinet post, the Samoan Affairs Secretary is not subject to Fono confirmation, which is required of the Police Commissioner post.

Haleck replaces out-going Police Commissioner Tuaolo M. Fruean, who has been at the helm for the last four years of the Togiola administration. Haleck had been in law enforcement for some three decades including his tenure that started in 2002 as Federal Security Director (FSD) of the U.S. Transportation Security administration (TSA) for the Tafuna airport. He retired a few years ago from that post.

Prior to joining TSA, Haleck served with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), based in Hawaii, for 24 years. His DEA job brought him to Pago Pago several times where he worked closely with local authorities and he also worked with other federal law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

He was also a special agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, assigned to Hawaii, after the DEA. Prior to working in law enforcement in the U.S., Haleck served in the local police force, rising to detective/sergeant in the Criminal Investigation and Training Division.


Also at yesterday’s ceremony, Lolo’s chief of staff, Fiu Johnny Saelua announced the names of the those appointed as acting directors for ASG departments, agencies and offices and were asked to attend a meeting this morning.

Lolo issued a separate memo designating acting directors for the executive branch and the appointments will prevail until such time a permanent director is appointed and confirmed by the Fono pursuant to existing governing statutes.

According to the memo — under the heading “Policy Parameters” — the authority is granted to acting directors to assume a “caretaker” role until the permanent director is appointed and confirmed. The acting director is expected to ensure that agency services to the public are maintained with improved efficiency and delivered in a manner that is respectful and safeguards the dignity of the service recipient.

“No new hires will be allowed nor will any personnel actions be allowed to be processed until” a director is appointed and confirmed the memo states and noted that an acting director is not empowered to enter into a contract of any type or form.

Moreover, the acting director is not authorized to make capital purchases unless authorized by the governor, lieutenant governor, or appropriate designees. And in the event that emergency hires are absolutely necessary to improve public services, the governor’s approval or his designee is required.

Exempted from the requirements noted in the “Policy Parameters” are the departments of Local Government, Legal Affairs, Treasury, Public Safety and Homeland Security. 

The list of acting directors does not provide for the name of someone as “caretaker” for the Treasury or Homeland Security. (Afoa, as attorney general, heads the Legal Affairs, Satele heads Local Government; and Haleck for DPS).

Following is the list of acting directors and their respective departments, offices and agencies:

• Faleosina Voight, Public Works

• Tuileama Nua, Health Department

• Catherine Aigamaua Saelua, Office of Planning and Budget

• Eseneiaso J. Liu, Human Resources

• Chris King, Port Administration

• Fa’aui Vaitautolu, Education Department

• Muavaefa’atasi J. Suisala, Human and Social Services

• Lelei Peau, Commerce Department

• Peter Gurr, Agriculture Department

• Selaina Tuimavave, Marine and Wildlife Resources

• Eric Afalava, Administrative Services

• Pa’u Roy Ausage, Youth & Women Affairs

• Pili Gaoteote, Parks and Recreation

• Sapiai Ena, Procurement Office

• Malo Niumata, Property Management Office

• Salu Tuigamala, Territorial Office of Fiscal Reform

• Tinei Malepeai, Office of Protection & Advocacy for the Disabled

• Kuresa Paopao, Territorial Administration on Aging

• Keith Gebauer, Criminal Justice Planning Agency

• Francis Sefo, Territorial Audit Office

• Siniva Anoai, Office of Public Information

• Seupule Leo, Election Office

• Fa’amao Asalele, American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency

• Taliga Vaiolo, Territorial Energy Office

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