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Community Briefs

American Samoa has been allocated more than $1 million to cover costs of some of the highway repair projects following the 2009 earthquake and tsunami.

The allocation for American Samoa comes from a pool of $215 million announced Monday by the U.S. Transportation Department. The money has been awarded to states and territories to cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural disasters in the U.S.

Funding is through the Emergency Relief Program which reimburses states for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid highways that were damaged in disasters and catastrophic failures.

American Samoa's total allocation is $1.22 million and will assist with ongoing repairs of highways damaged by the 2009 earthquake and tsunami. Funding for American Samoa goes to the Department of Public Works.

Early last year, the territory was allocated about $9 million under the Emergency Relief Program following the 2009 disaster.


Pacific Princess Partnership Ltd. has asked the federal bankruptcy court in south Florida to reject a $1 million settlement agreement between MYD Samoa Inc's bankruptcy Trustee Deborah C. Menotte and MYD's principal owners and its other entities.

Menotte in her filing of the settlement agreement early this month said in part that as a result of ongoing negotiations between all parties and recognizing the substantial fees, costs and attendant delay which would result from litigation, the Trustee, the Del Monicos and their related entities have reached a global settlement, which resolves outstanding claims between them.

According to the Trustee a lengthy legal battle over these claims would last for a year to two years and would cost more than $1.5 million, draining the assets of the estate. Additionally, this would be the best recourse to address any claims against the estate by its creditors.

"From an economic standpoint, the proposed settlement is a ‘win-win' for the estate and creditors," said Menotte.

However, Pacific Princess, a creditor for MYD and owner of the fishing vessel Pacific Princess, a tuna boat that operates out of Pago Pago, informed the court Monday in a 10-page motion that the agreement will primarily benefit the Debtor's insiders and the professionals involved in this case, and not the estate.

Pacific Princess also argued that the Debtor has yet to disclose to the court and the Debtor's creditors of any claims the Debtor has against all its insiders, inside companies and the Settling Parties.

The creditor reminded the court that this case was converted from a Chapter 11 reorganization to its current Chapter 7 liquidation after Pacific Princess' tracing of $1.3 million that was transferred by the Debtor to various insiders.

Pacific Princess noted one piece of information from a creditors meeting July 13 this year, where Daniel Del Monico - the main principal of MYD Samoa - "testified that a Brinks truck had delivered $1,293,500 to his office, that was picked up by Shawn Turnquest".

(Previous court filings state that Turnquest is a business partner and associate of Del Monico. Additionally, Turnquest founded Fowler Marine - the company that provided labor and equipment to MYD after the 2009 tsunami.)

Pacific Princess says the proposed agreement must be denied because - among other things - the lack of transparency over the claims the estate possesses against parties involved; and that the primary beneficiaries are Daniel Del Monico, his wife, his father, and several of Daniel Del Monico's companies, but not the estate.