Head of Quarantine's contract over
The contract for the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Quarantine in the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries, Lupeomanu Pelenato Fonoti, has expired.
This was confirmed by the organisation's Chief Executive Officer, Tilafono David Hunter.
The end of Lupeomanu's tenure comes while the Assistant C.E.O. is under suspension pending an investigation from the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.)
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Tilafono confirmed that Lupeomanu’s contract has expired and the position is being advertised together with the A.C.E.O. for the Ministry’s legal team.
Tilafono said the investigation from P.S.C. is ongoing pending the resolution of criminal charges against the A.C.E.O.
Lupeomanu has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a businessman and commercial farmer, Papali’i Panoa Tavita last year.
The investigation stems from an incident in August last year when Papali'i alleged that an altercation broke out during an M.A.F. boardroom meeting where he was punched.
Lupeomanu strenuously denies the allegations.
The incident allegedly occurred during the Ministry’s Pesticide Technical Committee meeting Chaired by the C.E.O. at Matautu.
The hearing for the matter is pending in the District Court.