14 Nov 2005

American Samoa anti-corruption watchdog considers petition for impeachment

2:32 pm on 14 November 2005

The anti-corruption watchdog in American Samoa, Common Cause, says it may start a petition to impeach the governor, Togiola Tulafono.

The group's president, Taimane Johnson, says this is now on their agenda because of their concerns over the number of public corruption cases.

She says there's been the school lunch programme scandal which resulted in two or three directors being prosecuted, the Aflac insurance problem, and questions over mounting debts at the LBJ medical center.

Mrs Johnson says these have all happened under the current governor's watch.

"He's not listening to the people. And, I think the next move is to go for an impeachment or a recall, and let him see that people are not stupid. And, I think for the people of American Samoa, lets remember what Martin Luther King said, it's not the evil done by bad men but the silence of good men."

Mrs Johnson says Common Cause is also calling for a federal magistrate or federal court to be set up in the territory so that corruption cases are dealt with in Pago Pago rather than Hawaii, as presently occurs.

She says justice needs to be seen to be done.