AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNOR TAUESE DENIES COVER-UP

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (August 7, 1998 - PACNEWS)---American Samoa's Governor Tauese Sunia has denied a statement by Treasurer Tifimalae Ale that he is withholding documents concerning payments of almost $US 50,000 paid to his wife, his daughter and himself.

Testifying under oath to the American Samoa's House of Representatives Investigative Committee, the Treasurer said that the documents to justify the payments were withheld by the Governor's Chief of Staff under orders from the Governor.

The payments included $US 83,000 to the Governor, $53,000 to his wife, and $US 10,000 to his daughter Dawn Sunia.

The Governor says never, at any time, has he ordered the documents withheld -- and was not aware that the House Investigation Committee had subpoenaed the documents.

According to the Governor, payments made to his wife were reimbursements for expenses for the Governor's official residence.

Tauese says payments made to him were for official expenses such as travel, per diems and protocol expenses and those made to his daughter were for a scholarship that she did not take up due to illness.

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