17 Sep 2004

American Samoa official quits over corruption charge

6:14 am on 17 September 2004

A senior official in the government of American Samoa has resigned because of the corruption charge that's been laid on him.

The deputy director of the Department of Human and Social Service, Patolo Mageo, is accused of rigging contract bids in exchange for cash kickbacks.

Mageo has now tendered a letter of resignation.

Mageo, is due to appear in the U.S District Court in Honolulu on the first of October to face a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States .

Mageo's letter of resignation states that: "Given the circumstances throughout the Federal proceedings in Honolulu I will be unable to fulfill my duties as an employee of the American Samoa Government. Therefore, I respectfully tender my resignation effective September 24, 2004."

Mageo is accused of approving several contracts totalling more than US$120,000.