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.