14 Jul 2006

American Samoa Power Authority defends choice of CEO

10:04 am on 14 July 2006

The Board of Directors of the American Samoa Power Authority says the appointment of Andra Samoa to the position of ASPA CEO was unanimous.

And, the board's Chairman Fepuleai Afa Ripley is disputing a report in the Samoa News that the appointment was decided in a 3-2 vote.

Ms Samoa was former Executive Director of the E-Commerce Development Corporation, which provides internet connections and technology for government agencies.

Her appointment came as a surprise to many as she does not have an engineering background.

When the ASPA Board released the names of candidates who had been shortlisted for the job back in March, Ms Samoa's name was not on it.

ASPA's Chief Operations Officer, Fonoti Perelini Perelini, was considered a leading contender, but there's speculation he was passed over because he was not American Samoan.

Fonoti, is a citizen of Samoa.

He is a New Zealand certified water engineer and has worked for the authority for 20 years.