Confusion Over Reported Sacking Of Am. Samoa Telecom Chief

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Board chair says meeting where CEO was terminated not ‘official’

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Feb. 18, 2014) – Chairman of the American Samoa TeleCommunications Authority board, Roy JD Hall Jr. says Moefauo William (Bill) Emmsley is still the ASTCA CEO and he has not been terminated, and he explained a meeting held by the ASTCA board last Friday was not an official meeting, as there was no notice for that meeting, in which the vote to terminate the CEO was carried.

Samoa News reported on Saturday that two board members told Samoa News late Friday that it was during a "special meeting" held last Friday at the Governor’s Office conference room, a motion to terminate the CEO was carried with a vote of four "yeas" and three "nays".

The ASTCA board chair said that "no written notice for the meeting on Friday was sent out to the Board Members" —meaning the vote is not official according to ASCTA board By-laws.

"My statement for the press is that CEO Bill Emmsley was the CEO on Friday and is [still] the CEO for ASTCA. Any special meeting for board action under ASTCA By-Laws requires that a 4-day written notice be provided to every board member for a special meeting, and an agenda must be prepared and attached to the notice."

Hall pointed out, "There was no notice for the special board meeting held on Friday, Feb. 14, but a meeting was held by the board to discuss recommendations made by the governor concerning extending the CEO’s contract and to work harmoniously together to establish policies to further the interests of ASTCA for the people of American Samoa."

Regarding board members who spoke to Samoa News, he stated that "any board member that is prepared to share information should be responsible and be accountable for their statements to the press." He further stated it’s the policy of ASTCA's board that any board member can make a statement to the press as long as they exercise discernment, good judgment and take responsibility for the statement.

Samoa News also reported in its Saturday story that the board was then asked by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga to give Moefauo another chance, given that all Cabinet members are given two years to prove themselves in their post, and the governor’s request came after the board meeting, according to board members.

However, Hall stated the Governor's recommendation to extend the ASTCA CEO's contract for two years, was to make it consistent with all other government directors who serve two-year contracts. Further, he stated that this recommendation was made at a meeting with the governor before the reported board meeting and not afterward, as Samoa News reported.

Samoa News met up with Moefauo on Friday evening, and when asked about the termination vote, he told Samoa News that he heard he had been terminated, but he was not informed officially of any decision by the ASTCA Board. He further stated that he is puzzled as to why the board members voted to terminate him, as they have not once cited or reproached him in any way.

Samoa News was informed a "letter of termination" to Moefauo, as a result of Friday’s special meeting— which the ASTCA board chairman says is not legal according to ASTCA by laws— will be delivered, today. Samoa News understands the letter will be signed by three of ASTCA’s board members.

Meanwhile Hall informed Samoa News Sunday evening that there is strong opposition to his application of the by-laws from three board members and a duly noticed meeting is set for this coming Wednesday to address the differences.

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