4 Nov 2003

Amrican Samoan governor refuses summons by Senate Budget Committee

11:23 am on 4 November 2003

American Samoa's governor, Togiola Tulafono, sees no reason to appear before the Senate Budget Committee this morning and described their request for his appearance as nothing more than a power play by certain committee members.

The committee had issued a summons for Togiola to provide additional testimony on the government's 5 million US dollar bail out measure for the government-owned LBJ Medical Centre.

Togiola in a letter to the State President says he sees no reason for his appearance before the committee, when his cabinet ministers testified on the measure for two hours last week.

The governor said he would be willing to provide additional information in writing or have a cabinet member appear for a supplemental testimony before the committee.

The hospital is presently running a deficit of almost seven million US dollars and is also facing two multi-million dollar lawsuits involving patient care.