25 Apr 2020

Top official in American Samoa hands in resignation

2:55 pm on 25 April 2020

The Director of Homeland Security, Samana Semo Ve'ave'a, has handed in his resignation to Governor Lolo Moliga.

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Photo: 123rf

This followed an incident that at the AP Lutali Executive Office Building involving Samana and the Director of Human Resources Eseneiaso Liu.

KHJ News reports Samana and Mrs Liu had attended a meeting in the Governor's Office.

After the meeting as Mrs Liu was making her way to her second floor office Samana approached her and in a loud voice questioned her about action she had initiated concerning a Homeland Security employee.

He had in his hand a letter purported to be from the Human Resources director ordering the suspension of an employee who was under investigation for the alleged use of a department computer to produce political campaign material.

Sources said Samana was not made aware of the confiscation of the employee's computer hard drive beforehand and there had been no discussion with him about her suspension.

According to two witnesses, Samana tore up the suspension letter and threw it towards Mrs Liu.

A few hours after the incident, Samana submitted his own letter of resignation.

Governor Lolo Moliga has said he had not accepted the resignation but was putting Samana on 30 days administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

Lolo Matalasi Moliga at his State of the Territory address.

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga Photo: RNZI / Monica Miller