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By Tauva Esera

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Samoa News, Jan. 26) – The former director of the Department of Education (DOE), Dr. Sili Sataua, who resigned late last year after several appearances before the Senate Select Investigation Committee and a barrage of publicity over his mismanagement and abuse of the federally funded School Lunch Program, has been appointed as special assistant to director Mike Sala, of the Office of Territorial and International Criminal Intelligence and Drug Enforcement (OTICIDE).

OTICIDE houses the South Pacific Islands Criminal Intelligence Network (SPICIN) and the United States INTERPOL Pacific Sub-Bureau of the United States Department of Justice.

Although the SSIC had recommended to the Attorney General's office to investigate the former DOE Director for prosecution for his role in the School Lunch scandal, no criminal charges have ever been pressed by the government.

OTICIDE director Mike Sala told Samoa News over the weekend that Dr. Sataua is currently hired on a short-term contract to perform special project functions in regard to drug education analysis and program evaluation, and to prepare special reports and assessments on systems development on crime trends and provide analytical support in correlating information.

He will also be responsible for developing grant proposals for the agency operation in order to curb drug and human trafficking, through prevention, education and enforcement utilizing the process of coordination and sharing.

Additionally, he will coordinate and provide training programs for involved criminal justice agencies that are networking with OTICIDE, SPICIN and US INTERPOL, aside from establishing a performance measurement system for various program areas to assure adherence to established procedures and policies.

Sala told Samoa News that Dr. Sili Sataua is no stranger to him or the Department of Public Safety (DPS), having worked closely with him for about two years, when he served as Sala's special assistant and director of training at the Commissioner's Office, prior to his appointment as the late Governor Tauese's first chief of staff.

According to Sala, as director of training, Sili was instrumental in setting up the Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) program in which the governors of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 1994 to standardize the criteria to be used in the employment, training and certification of law enforcement officers.

Sala defended Dr.Sataua's contractual employment saying, OTICIDE is fortunate to have Dr. Sataua working with him and his staff. Not only because he is very talented and has much potential, but also that Sili brings with him a wide and varied background, and certainly will be a valuable asset to his agency and other criminal justice agencies.

When Sala was asked about his feelings about Dr. Sataua stepping down as DOE director, he only commented that it was very unfortunate, but he trusts that Sili will look at things from a different perspective.

Dr. Sataua has been employed for 33 years with the American Samoa Government (ASG). His range of government positions and assignments include being Dean of Instruction at the American Samoa Community College, the ASG representative to the South Pacific Commission, and later as Governor Tauese's chief of staff prior to his appointment as DOE director from which he resigned under a cloud of controversy.

Sili has a bachelors degree in education from Northeast Missouri State University, a Masters degree in education administration from University of Hawaii and a doctorate degree in higher education administration from Brigham Young University.

When appointed by the late Governor Tauese as his chief of staff, Dr. Sili Sataua was reported by Samoa News back then to have spoken highly of his earlier employment at DPS.

"My years with DPS and especially under the leadership of acting commissioner Mike Sala are perhaps the most memorable and best three years of my professional career," Dr. Sataua was then quoted as saying. "It's been both rewarding and personally satisfying."

February 2, 2004

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