30 Aug 2003

American Samoa's Director of Education resigns

9:10 am on 30 August 2003

American Samoa's Director of Education, Dr Sili Sataua has resigned amid allegations of his misappropriating food supplies from the School Lunch programme for his own use.

Dr Sataua says that his resignation was in the best interests of the department and that he was stepping down of his own will.

A Senate Investigative Committee has heard that that food supplies and equipment from the School Lunch programme were often delivered to the director's home.

Other allegations include the awarding of contracts without competitive bidding.

Dr Sataua has denied claims attributed to senior DOE officials that the governor, Togiola Tulafono had asked for his resignation but he was refusing to step down.

He says he was not forced to resign.

Dr Sataua has been director of education for more than five years and was appointed to the post after service as chief of staff in the first term of the Tauese administration.