27 Sep 2003

American Samoa watch-dog group wants Speaker investigated

9:31 am on 27 September 2003

The American Samoa watch-dog group, Common Cause, says House Speaker Matagi M. McMoore should step down while allegations of misappropriating government funds are investigated.

The non-political group has requested the Senate Select Investigative Committee to look into allegations the Speaker misappropriated funds amounting to around 50 thousand US dollars.

A spokesman for the group, Dale Long, has asked that SSIC investigate a number of issues, including purchases by the Speaker's wife's, and an unapproved trip to Alaska.

Mr Long says the federal government is investigating the Speaker, but the local government, under the attorney general's office, has white washed the whole matter.

"He has an office of public trust and he should be above suspicion. He is suspected of these crimes. The ethical thing to do would be to step down until he was either absolved or convicted."