Samoa Airways executive suspended over leak allegations

The Sales Manager of Samoa Airways, Fonoti Micheline Taua'a, has been suspended over allegations she shared confidential information about company business in an anonymous e-mail to a top Government official. 

In response to questions from the Samoa Observer, Fonoti confirmed she had been placed on suspension with full pay effective six weeks ago. 

She wrote: "I confirm that I was suspended with full pay from 31 July 2019 by the management of Samoa Airways, pending the outcome of their investigation into allegations of alleged misconduct on the following basis:

1. Sharing confidential information on the business affairs of Samoa Airways with a third party who is the partner of a senior manager for the Airline; 2. Involved in an anonymous email complaint sent to a high government official concerning the business affairs of Samoa Airways."

Fonoti, who is one of the airline's longest-serving members of staff, said she is fighting to clear her name. 

“I have denied all allegations and insinuations directed against me and await the outcome of management’s investigation which I welcome so that I can clear my name," she said in an e-mailed response to questions from this newspaper. 

"I will not be making any further comments on my case to protect the integrity of the disciplinary process now in progress".

Asked for a comment, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, said he did not have the details about the case. 

"Those are management decisions and you should go and talk to the C.E.O. (Chief Executive Officer Seiuli Alvin Tuala).”

Repeated efforts to get comments from Seiuli have been unsuccessful.

E-mails and calls were not answered as of press time. 

The Airline's new Chairman, Muagututi’a Lafaele Nagu Chun, was also unavailable for a comment.

He was travelling to Savai’i when he was contacted by the Samoa Observer. 

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