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Senate President questions involvement of Cabinet Member

The involvement of the Director of the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office, Letitia Mautumua Peau-Folau, in the Kite-Runner dilemma was questioned during the joint budget hearing today.

Senator Tuaolo Manaia Fruean asked Peau-Folau why she was involved in the operation of the Kite-Runner vessel when she is a Cabinet member.

Tuaolo pointed out that the Kite-Runner issue has blown out of proportion, yet she is slapped in the middle. In response, Peau-Folau said she is related to Papalii Laulii Alofa.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security concluded its investigation into the Kite Runner owned by Peau-Folau and recommended that she be criminally charged.

The report has been referred to the Attorney General’s office for consideration. The investigation was launched following media reports out of Samoa that the Samoa Police detained the Kite Runner over the lack of proper permits.

Homeland Security recommended charging Peau-Folau with criminal fraud and Conspiracy.

Tuaolo then posed the question to the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Loa Tuimavave Tauapa’i Laupola, regarding the issue.

Loa acknowledged the concern in response but noted that the investigation is ongoing.

Tuaolo said the Attorney General will be questioned regarding this issue.

The Senate President clarified that this does not sit well with him, as he assumed that Peau-Folau works for a private company, but that is not the case.

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