4 Sep 2009

Million dollar claims launched against American Samoa

9:48 am on 4 September 2009

The American Samoa government has received two separate claims totaling 100 million US dollars over unpaid utility bills to the American Samoa Power Authority or ASPA.

Local attorney William Reardon presented the two separate claims on behalf of his client, private citizen Dr Trudie Iuli Sala.

Mr Reardon says the main focus of the claim is that the government is not paying its outstanding utility bill and the power authority is in turn passing those costs on to customers.

The power authority is a semi-automonous government agency and it operates and manages electric, water, waste water, solid waste and sewer services in the territory.

ASPA'S chief executive officer, Mike Keyser, said early last month that the government utility debt at the time stood at 3.3 million dollars.

He also went onto say that he was sorry to say that the public will have to continue to subsidize the central government.

Mr Reardon said the basis of the claim is the failure of the American Samoa Government to pay its utility bills to ASPA which is causing damages to the plaintiffs, the people of American Samoa.