Senior Govt. official suspended

The Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F.) has been suspended after he was charged with assault. 

The Assistant C.E.O. for Quarantine, Lupeomanu Pelenato Fonoti’s suspension was confirmed by the Minister of M.A.F., Lopao’o Natanielu Mua. 

The length of the suspension will depend on the investigation into his conduct. 

“He is suspended pending an investigation from P.S.C. [Public Service Commission],” said the Minister, currently in Manila in the Philippines for a Government meeting. 

The Acting Assistant C.E.O. for Quarantine will be Talei Fidow Moors. 

Lupeomanu’s was charged with one count of assault last week.

The altercation is alleged to have occurred during the Pesticide Technical Committee Meeting chaired by the (M.A.F.) Chief Executive Officer, Tilafono David Hunter.

The charge stemmed from an altercation between the A.C.E.O. and another during the Pesticide Technical Committee Meeting.

Lupeomanu allegedly punched businessman Papalii Panoa Tavita in the meeting held two weeks ago at Quarantine office. 

It was alleged that a physical altercation came after a dispute about the absence of pre-printed material for the meeting. 

Papali'i said he did not sustain serious injuries but expressed concern about what allegedly happened. 

Several attempts to get a comment from the P.S.C. were unsuccessful. 

Lupeomanu had denied the allegation of punching Papali'i when he was previously contacted for a comment. 

The Assistant C.E.O. was also recently charged for uttering insulting words in a separate incident that took place in Savai’i. 

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