18 Feb 2011

American Samoa Congressman brushes off Governor's criticism

11:15 am on 18 February 2011

American Samoa's representative in Washington says his differences with the territory's Governor are sad but he's not taking the conflict personally.

Comments from Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin appear to have fuelled a growing rift with Togiola Tulafono over federal funding.

American Samoa is facing a multi million dollar deficit with workers hours cut and job losses likely.

Faleomavaega has said the territory shouldn't need more money given the millions its received in federal funding, prompting the governor to call him a rogue delegate.

Falemavaega says his report stated facts and he didn't make any derogatory comments about the governor.

"He's certainly entitled to his opinion about me. And er for myself I will continue to do all I can to work with him and to try to resolve the problems and the reasons why the people elected us to these offices or these positions to serve the people."

Falemavaega says he and the Governor appear to have an honest disagreement about the implementation of the minimum wage in the territory.