2 Jul 2004

American Samoa governor team moves to dismiss rumours

10:47 am on 2 July 2004

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono and Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia have told supporters that they're not stepping down - as the rumour mill has it.

Rumors have been circulating that the Lieutenant Governor was withdrawing his candidacy in upcoming elections, and that he would soon be arrested by the FBI.

Last month it emerged that there were federal subpoenas for bank records for the Lt. Governor, his wife and daughter.

A company owned by the Lieutenant governor's wife is one of three furniture companies that received hundreds of thousands of dollars of sole sourced contracts for the Department of Education and Department of Human and Social Services.

The Togiola Ipulasi camp called a special meeting yesterday for the candidates to address the reports. Both emphatically denied that neither of them has any plans to step down.

Governor Togiola said neither he nor his deputy have ever said that they'd resign.

The governor speculated the rumours were instigated by their political opponents to smear their re-election campaign.

The governor also said there's no rift between him and the Lieutenant Governor.

He said their working relationship's excellent and he's confident that their re-election campaign will be successful.