Babauta on leave, federal probe underway - News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Babauta on leave, federal probe underway

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta is not responding to calls for comment about being placed on administrative leave. The inspector general is conducting an investigation into Babauta's travel as well as reviewing grants that were awarded by the Office of Insular Affairs. Department of Interior Deputy Director of Communications Blake Androff confirms that Babauta is on leave pending the investigation findings.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo is aware of the ongoing inspector general review and the natural resources committee is also aware of the ongoing federal probe.  The congresswoman meanwhile says she respects the process and looks forward to receiving the full i-g report when it is completed. Bordallo stated, "I have confidence in his integrity and in the work he has performed as the Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs. He has used his expertise on insular issues to fully engage leaders from across the Pacific and in the Caribbean. Our islands a better positioned because of his leadership. I believe that he has always exercised sound decision making and I hope this will be reflected in the IG results."

Eileen Sobeck has been named acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas and will lead the Insular Affairs team during this period. She previously served as the Interior's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

Babauta has not returned calls or responded to e-mail inquiries for comment regarding the ongoing investigation.

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