TALANEI POLL

Posted: Friday, 03 May 2013 8:15AM

Governor: Pat Galea'i not a target



Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga says up to now he has not been contacted personally by the US Department of Treasury concerning  an investigation into the Section 1602 program.

Lolo was president of the Development Bank of American Samoa which administered the low income housing program and funded with a $30 million grant from the US Treasury through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

A report by the office overseeing ARRA programs in the territory, the American Samoa Economic Stimulus and Recovery Office released in September last year, raised serious anomalies in the selection of the more than 200 families who were awarded grants.

Last month KHJ News received confirmation from the attorney for the Inspector General's Office of the US Treasury that the conduct of the 1602 program in American Samoa was under review.

We asked the governor if he has been advised by US Treasury regarding the investigation. 

Governor Lolo said  he was informed by the Acting President of DBAS back in January that he was notified that the Inspector General was going to conduct an investigation of the 1602 program.

The governor said he counseled the acting president of DBAS, who was accompanied by his legal counsel, to make sure that they cooperate fully with the investigators.

As for being informed, Lolo said to date, the investigators or the Department of Treasury have not contacted him personally.

We also asked the governor if the former ASESRO Director Pat Galeai was being forced out of his ASG job and about perceptions that Galea'i is being targeted because of ASESRO's 1602 report which wasn’t favorable of DBAS’s administration of the program.

Governor Lolo said  the issue about Mr. Pat Galea’i is in the hands of Human Resources.  He provided some background to Galea'i's employment.

First he was told that Galeai was employed by DOC before before being moved up to the Governor’s Office. And he was originally on a contract because that is how he, Galea'i, became eligible to live in Government Housing.

But then Galea'i was converted to career service employment status but still living in government housing with his rent paid for by the government, said Lolo.

According to the governor, Galea'i is not being forced out of government  Lolo told KHJ News he gave instructions to return Galea'i to his job before he was appointed to head ASESRO.

The budget to continue ASESRO however was not approved by the Fono. Consequently, all of those employees who worked under this unit were furloughed because there was no money to pay them.

The governor explained that since Galea'i was a career service employee and he was told Galea'i  formally worked for DOC, Galea'i was sent to DOC.

However, the DOC director said Pat was never an employee of DOC …although he was housed at DOC, he worked for the Governor’s Office.

Lolo said he was also informed that Industrial Park money was used to pay for Galea’I’s salary before he was appointed to lead ASESRO. 

The governor said this practice was stopped because it was an illegal use of Industrial Park funds.  And the predicament is there‘s no funding for Galea's' position in the Governor’s Office.

The governor said the case of Galea'i is now with HR but pointed out the law is rather specific with respect to the continuation of a position without an approved source of funding.

Commenting on perceptions that Galea'i is being trargeted because of the 1602 report, the governor said this is unfounded.

His words: "If I had coerced Pat not to release his report, then the documented perception would be valid. However, even in May of 2012, before the election, Pat came to me and informed me that he was going to release his report to the Department of Treasury.

"I told him to do so without any concern on my part because I know no impropriety was involved because all the decisions made on the 1602 were discussed with the Department of Treasury. All drawdown requests for funds from the Department of Treasury were co-signed and approved by Pat or his designee within his office."

The governor continued, "When I was informed early January by the Acting President of DBAS about the investigation, I advised him to fully co-operate with the investigation. There is nothing therefore that would compel me to retaliate against Pat.  Furthermore, Pat is my aiga."


Filed Under :  
Topics : Politics
People : Lolo Matalasi MoligaPat GaleaPat Galea'iPat Galeai
05/04/2013 8:30AM
Governor: Pat Galea'i not a target
Please enter your comments below.
05/04/2013 4:38PM
LadyoftheReef
It is plain to read of the dignity of Governor Lolo. Especially, in regards of the acts and behavior of Pat. What a better man, Governor Lolo, is that he identifies Pat as his aiga. Although, it is obvious in the now and upcoming ramifications that Pat faces, and hopefully he will display a better behavior than what he has already displayed and commented. Especially, against our dignified and honorable Governor and his upscale Directors and Staff.
05/04/2013 10:54PM
Pity Me In Carson
What the hell is 'Lady of the Reef' talking about?
05/05/2013 4:18PM
Disguise
Let not these sweet words out of ones mouth disguise ones true intentions. Aiga or not, 1602 will not be swept under rug. This also depends if Pat will be bought off and have a change of heart now that Lolo call's him aiga. Upscale directors? maybesome but not all. Honorable will depend on 1602 and how these 4 years turn out. Ones personal and moral character tells much about ones honor. Lolo is not a Saint.
05/06/2013 7:50AM
Nor honest
Lolo has his agenda influenced by his close circle of co-conspirators. He is trying to do good but it's a balancing act to cover the not good. Such is the nature of politics. The challenges are Economy, Health, and Manu'a. So far he's getting a "D" in all three from this podium.
05/06/2013 9:15AM
This to is Funny as Helll
Pat is not a target people---- no no no-- he is a bullseye----winner take all morons-- Pat, get a clue already. This is tired run of the mill news. You lost the election, get the hell over it.
05/06/2013 11:25AM
Re: lady of the reef
"Dignified and honorable man" really? Because he called Pat his 'aiga'... Boy, if that was all anyone needed to do to be called 'dignified and honorable' then everyone and their mother is honorable, including those greedy birds in the Fono;) Lady of the Reef, I don't know what Rock you're living under but you might want to get your head outta there and take a whiff of reality, it's staring you straight in the face!!
Title :
Comment :