Governor fires TEO Director

Governor Lolo Moliga has terminated the services of the  Director of the Territorial Energy Office Aliitama  Sotoa .

He was given his walking papers last week.
Responding to KHJ News questions this afternoon, Governor Lolo Moliga confirmed that  Sotoa has been fired.

Lolo said Sotoa had been given several warnings about traveling  to off island meetings some of which he did not receive approval to attend.

According to the Governor Sotoa was told to give opportunities to his deputy directors to attend some of the meetings in order to build capacity but he continued to take the trips and would sometimes pay for the travel himself.

Lolo told KHJ News he had discussed previously with Sotoa that his family and also the government and people of American Samoa that the Territorial Energy Office serves were not getting his full attention.

Lolo said he didn’t feel that the warnings given to Sotoa in the past were heeded so he made the decision for the TEO Director.

Sotoa is currently off island and could not be reached for comment.

He joined ASG in 2014 after retiring  from San Diego Gas and Electric Company where he held a management position.

Sotoa’s family continued to live in the mainland after he relocated to the territory.

KHJ News also received reports that the governor had warned other directors.

Asked about this, Lolo said this is true nearly all the directors have been told about incidents that did not have the best interests of the public in mind.

He said he made it clear to the directors that the last 3 years of the administration are the toughest and he expected them to give their full attention to their jobs

Lolo said from his observations the warnings appear to have worked as the directors whom he talked to are shaping up.


  1. rankon

    keniseli should also be terminated since he keeps talking high and mighty and still action since became doc. we need someone that walks the talk. director of tourism is another to be terminated.

  2. SMH

    Next up should be the Chief Procurement Officer at Procurement Office because she is always traveling and I know its not for work.

  3. Frustrated

    Its unfortunate but this was far overdue, Governor please look at the rest of your Directors who haven’t produced but has been here: DOC Director Kenisele, Women Youth Director Jonathon Fanene/ Roy Ausage , VB Director David Vaeafe, Director Agriculture Mike Fuiava, entire Governors office……list goes on and on!!!!! Our people are suffering!!!!!!

  4. Joseph Taumua

    Fake news, Fake News and again Fake News! More like “” This man is a great man! He is and will continue to be an inspiration to me and others. Trust you will do the right thing and take this down!

  5. Guest

    What’s his family’s continuing to live stateside got to do with the job? What journalist with good skills uses “he was given his walking papers”…yeah, it’s also like sayin, “he got sacked”…your title heading already indicated “Governor fires TEO Director” and your 1st liner, “the Governor has terminated the services of the Director…”. I know y’all gonna say, it is what it is… okaay, but I think this article could’ve been written more professionally, just sayin. Hope it isn’t politics, as usual!

  6. Blue Sapphire

    For all of you who read this article and are HI-FIVIN the Governor thinking he put in some real piece of change type work, TRYING to make an example of this man, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PLAYED YOURSELF! Quite frankly, it’s a tad bit late to be talking ACCOUNTABILITY in 2018, when from the gate since 2012 all we’ve had was a LAISSEZ FAIRE farce of an administration doing all kinds of NOTHING! But if you are going to take a stroll down accountability lane, at least take some FACTS with you! Not sure how much newsworthy this article intended to be, but it sure didn’t give the people of American Samoa a got dang thing. I mean, so you expelled one student and gave the rest detention. I still see things staying as it always does here, lame and the same. And, if any of you also believe the hype and hogwash that the rest of these UNCHECKED directors will make anything count these 3 years remaining, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PLAYED YOURSELF TOO!

  7. How about Authority's

    Gov, please look at Authority’s as well. Seems like ASPA Chief gone more than he is around. Maybe that is why the new guys Mr. Young is there now. I heard he was off island during the Gita storms. They have their own budgets and travel money for non government authority. Too many travel for your cabinet members. Even Ports Director travels so many times. Nice to be on your cabinet and free travel to trainings then go to fa’alavelave with per diem and free hotel.

  8. Manuia Manuia

    I have had the pleasure to work with Aliitama on many occasions and I cannot stress enough how intelligent and visionary this man is.

    The problem with Lolo’s Administration is that he has too many chiefs and not enough tautuas. The hilarious thing about Samoans today is that they all fight to be the chief, but they forget how much power there is in tautua. Tautua is sacred.

    Leaders like Aliitama are a threat to all of the wannabe chiefs who each have their own political agendas. How sad is that?

    For the record, EVERYONE who knows Aliitama knows this Administration asked him to join them. He did not apply for his job. From the very beginning Aliitama made it clear that he did not have any intention to be a cabinet member and that he would much rather be in the private sector. The Administration did not listen to him from the beginning. It is sad that they have chosen to take this low road and do wrong by him.

    Let’s draw a comparison here. So. You have a director of a major department who violated labor laws and attacked an employee in front of staff and you did not address it. However, you are now saying that Aliitama gets fired because he’s off island too much. Governor, your numbers don’t add up. And I sincerely hope your decision does not affect Lemanu’s numbers in 2020.


  9. Faautaga

    @HaA….. ia ogosa’i ia oe ma solo ifo ou mata…lol. se’i e director fo’i oe oga e iloa ma malamalama laia le mea lea e malaga ai le kamaloa pe eke alu e fesili sa’o ai. Ma le isi mea e le kalogoa kakou ma gi makagi ma afa malolosi. And that’s why EDUCATION is very important so we can learn more about ( ORGANIZATION LEADERSHIP MANAGEMENT 101 ) and ( NATURE DISASTROUS…MOTHER NATURE ). Unless you don’t understand above than I’m sorry my friend I cannot help you with your argue it is baseless case CLOSED. And plus leave the poor man alone. He is a highly Respected and very Productive Director. Male ava male faaaloalo. Soifua.

  10. Tirrrred

    This article seems nothing more than a REACH. I mean, you spray this man publicly with your lips pursed and prepped to say that he traveled on his own $. Then you proceed to set some “heed my warning” type of precedent by reporting that the governor came down hard on the rest of his goons, like business won’t resume per usual pre and post this article. Nothing but a bunch of LATCHKEY-LOLLYGAGGING directors fussing and foolala-ing with our hard earned tax paying coins. Who contribute nothing to the process nor the progression of, now that I think of it, ANYTHING really. ASG, those of you with a corner office and a window and not you folks in a cubical. Pleeaaase! get it” together and mind your p’s and q’s before you feel like dropping gems ok. And to the mediums that deliver the goings on of your daily shenanigans to the general public. Pleeaaase! ensure your thought processes are on point before you report because I CAN’T WITH THIS ARTICLE.

  11. Manuia Manuia

    So…Ali’itama Sotoa was attending a meeting in Washington DC for the Energy Directors and Officials from all 50 States and Territories for NASEO and he gets let go? While in Washington DC attending his scheduled meetings, he received an email from the Governor Lolo rescinding his position as Director of Territory Energy Office. He’s the Territory Office Energy Director. He’s doing his job to keep up to date with Energy Regulations. If the Governor had a problem with this he couldn’t have waited until he returned from his meeting?
    This is disturbing. I’ve known Ali’itama and his work ethics and he’s Always helping people. Ali’itama has worked so hard for this administration and even raised a lot of money for Lolo/Lemanu campaign which he was a part of. As Ali’itama stated in his response above…”It would be advantageous to be in the private sector to help enhance the Governor’s legacy by his original theme” “People First” Now as he transition into the private sector, I’m sure he will continue to work with this administration to help bring down the high cost of electricity because…I know that this is who he is !!!

  12. GUEST

    What Journalist in a professional manner would use this language “He was given his WALKING PAPERS ” Especially since they both served on the same board of Samoana Arts & Jazz Festival. I guess this just shows you who your friends are. People who you think are your friends are not! Journalists just want to be Famous or Infamous for their top story without any regard. RE-EVALUATE your so called friends! This man is well Respected, has helped us in American Samoa and this is how you treat him?
    Journalist, Go and find your next top story.

    1. Monica Miller Post author

      Faafetai for your post. Journalists report without fear or favor and our friends and strangers go through the same scrutiny. We also have a code of ethics that we have to abide by.

  13. One-Sided View “Code of Ethics Violation”

    Monica Miller, I’m sure if this happened to your Family or Friend, you would first, before reporting, get their side of their story. BUT you chose otherwise. I truly doubt you would do this to your family or friends without checking with them first. There was a Code of Ethnics violation on your part in not checking with the TEO Director first. You needed both sides of the story from the beginning before reporting, That is what a great journalist does (fact find) and Not one-sided views. You are a reporter and so let your audience draw the conclusion.

    1. Monica Miller Post author

      The ex Director’s side of the story was reported. Being a journalist on a small island, I have reported on family and friends. As I said without fear or favor.

      1. Pasefika619

        As a journalist it is in such poor taste that you would inject your personal opinions into an article, “without fear or favor” and “poor judgement”. Give me a break! These are not facts and the information you gathered, under false pretenses mind you, were only used to defame this amazing man.

        This man is a hard working family man, intelligent, positive, wise, humble and above all else a God fearing man. These are qualities that you and your fellow journalist(s) are severely lacking.

        It saddens me to read about the obstacles my homeland, American Samoa are facing. The last thing anyone needs is a shameful gossip column that continues to divide it’s people. You are no better than the bottom feeders of the pacific ocean.

        The saying, “Sticks and Stones May break my bones but your words will never hurt…” keep that in mind! Because John 8:32 reads, “the TRUTH shall set you free.”

        My positive thoughts, prayers and love be with my Uncle Ali’itama, Family and American Samoa. Transcending positive light that 2018 and the future be a great energy sent your ways.

  14. FYI

    Monica Miller, I would hope that when you say… that you have reported on your family & friends as a journalist, hopefully, it would be reporting great & positive news. When you report negative news without getting both sides of the story, your credibility goes downhill.

    FYI !!!

  15. O ai e si'i a o ai e TOSO!

    I don’t know Ali’itama Sotoa (Director of Territory Energy Office) well but I had the pleasure of meeting him introduced to me by a lawyer, this was in 2015. Conversing with him and couple of other members in Governor’s Office, he definitely showed he knows what he is doing, however I have NOT worked with him. From that day and every time I see Aliitama Sotoa he was always seen with Governor Lolo and most of Gov Lolo’s minions. Surprised that Gov Lolo would treat him as such. If we weighed out what other Directors or/and Governor Office staff beginning with Gov Lolo special assistance, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff. I remember very well many illegal actions or rather allegations. Yet they are still employed. Okay if he travels too much and was given warning why wasn’t other Directors treated the same! O AI E SI’I A O AI E KOSO?
    I am not surprise when mentioned Ali’itama Sotoa met with LT Lemanu and Chief of Staff then also met with Gov Lolo then later smash Ali’itama Sotoa with such decision. I remember meeting with Gov Lolo he was kind & thoughtful recommended that I recover, then later on his Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff recommended termination. Who does that? Who recommends termination to an ill individual and takes second hand information from heartless minions. Then trying to schedule another meeting with Gov Lolo and no avail. He is just to busy to assist an individual who was injured on the job. He too was injured on the job too and was treated with first hand assistance. Not everyone is lucky nor treated the same.
    I know without a doubt Ali’itama Sotoa, can get any job as he desires and enjoys waking up in the morning address. However, e pule lava le kovana. Wait till you leave in 2020 I hope you will never be treated like such by anyone. Your authority will be given to another of which the people will select. The minions with heartless suggestions and advice will not be your BFF anymore. But your legacy will linger with you. My God peace and comfort be upon Ali’itama Sotoa, his aiga, and loved ones. You got this Ali’itama Sotoa, never change who you are, people from a distance believe in you. Manuia


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