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NHHC managers seek new business licenses in territory

Michael McDonald and his wife Paula Stevenson McDonald are awaiting approval from the government for their business license, says Department of Commerce Deputy Director, Lelei Peau, the department where license applications are received and processed.


Mr. and Mrs. McDonald are the local managers for the Native Hawaiian Holding Company (NHHC), which has been under the microscope of the Attorney General and the Department of Human Resources.  


NHHC signed the contract with the government to provide training and employment in the contact center industry for 900 NEG participants and authorized it to operate job placement and supportive services in a setting that would serve as part of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Workforce System.


To date, HR Director Le’i Sonny Thompson is holding off on making the last payment of $1.5million to NHHC citing “questionable costs and failure to comply with conditions of contract” for the $3million that was already paid out. 


The DOC Deputy director confirmed to Samoa News that the McDonalds applied for a business license but did not go into detail as to what type of business they are looking at opening in the territory.


Samoa News understands the name of the proposed business is called PPG Enterprises, and the application is seeking two licenses, one for “Business Management Development” and another for a clothing store.


The PPG Enterprise is to be located where the Community Investment Corporation (CIC) office is currently located in the Pago Plaza Building, and where the Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) is located. Samoa News understands that Chief Executive Officer for CIC Gabriella Draney wrote a letter indicating the lease to CIC will be handed over to PPG Enterprise.


This CIC office was mainly for the new credit union, which was to be headquartered in Fitiuta, Manu’a with branches in the Manu’a island group as well as on Tutuila, said then Governor Togiola Tulafono. As reported in January this year Togiola claimed that the community development credit union is strongly supported by the federal government, who is satisfied with the plans for this new credit union to operate here and has policies in place to protect its assets and customers.


He said one of the best things about this credit union is that it had more than 3,000 financial institution partners throughout the U.S., which will make it easy for residents who may be on the mainland to make a deposit at one of the partner branches, and the money goes into the account right away.


Samoa News understands the business license application has been referred to the Attorney General’s Office, and questions sent to Attorney General Afoa L Su’esu’e Lutu, Deputy Mitzie Jessop and Assistant Attorney General Michael Iosua were not answered as of press time.


Last month, the AG assigned the matter to Deputy Attorney General, Mitzie Jessop and Assistant Attorney General Michael Iosua.


Samoa News understands, Special Agents with OTICIDE, under Homeland Security are conducting an investigation in this matter and have held meetings with ASNEG employee on numerous occasions regarding this case. Samoa News has also been asked to supply copies of its stories from its archives.


Emails to Mr. and Mrs. McDonald, were not answered as of press time.