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Chaos at ASTCA — Chairman of the Board suspended from his role

Aleki Sene Jr

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The chair of the America Samoa Telecommunication Authority (ASTCA) Board, Aleki Sene Jr has been suspended from his role, as chair —  until further notice.

A source told Samoa News that the decision to suspend Sene Jr was based on the issue that there is a conflict of interest with his role as chair of the ASTCA Board while his family is providing services to ASTCA.

It’s unknown at this time how exactly the suspension decision was made and who brought the issue to the table, i.e. Governor’s Office, ASTCA board, etc. It’s also not known if Sene Jr has been removed from the board, or only from his role as chair.

When Samoa News inquired regarding this matter, ASTCA Acting COE Chuck Leota refused to comment. He said that he needs to consult first with their lawyer to advise him on what should be said about the issue.

Samoa News also asked two Board members regarding this matter, however, they didn’t want to offer any comments. They said that the only two people that could release any information regarding this matter are Leota and the current acting Chair of the Board, Sen. Utu Sila Poasa.

According to the source, the Board will meet to discuss their next action regarding the suspension of the Board chairman.

Meanwhile, ASTCA is now looking for a new Chief Executive Officer to replace former CEO Ms Falavaoto Sualevai. The deadline for filing applications is May 28th.

In the job description on its website, ASTCA outlines the CEO’s duties saying the CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors of ASTCA and is accountable for the overall success and impact of the organization.

This includes strategic planning and implementation, financial oversight and promoting the development and growth of ASTCA. “The CEO will work closely with the board of directors, serving as the primary link between the different divisions within the company.”

Commercial Manager Leota has been acting CEO since Sualevai’s removal last month.