After more than six years, the Palau Senate has finally confirmed an Office of the Special Prosecutor nominee.
In a session today, the 10 senators present unanimously voted to confirm Steven Killelea, President Tommy Remengesau’s nominee.
The 10 members giving the nod to Killelea were Senators Rukebai Inabo, Mark Rudimch Sandra Pierantozzi, Mason Whipps, Raynold Oiluch , Surangel Whipps Jr. Uduch Senior, Regis Akitaya, Philip Reklai and Joel Toribiong.
Senators voted in favor of Killelea, convinced that he is fit for the important job.
“From his credentials from JGA Committee and aside from concerns raised on the SP position, yes. I hope he exercises his powers with prudence,” Rudimch said in an email.
Sen. Akitaya told Pacific Note in a text message, “based on the short hearing with him, I feel that he can be trusted with this tough job.”
Killelea’s confirmation will now dissolve the Interim of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which was created in the absence of a permanent Special Prosecutor.
The last Special Prosecutor Michael Copeland left office in 2010.
Killelea is the assistant ISP since Dec. 2015.Before arriving in Palau he was an Assistant District Attorney for more than three years in the Suffolk County, in Massachusetts’s District Attorney’s Office.
Melissa Simms, current ISP has resigned from her post weeks ago.
She has been under fire for the misconduct case she filed against Vice President Antonio Bells. Simms also later withdrew the case saying that it is in the “best interest” of the country if the charges are not pursued further.
Earlier presidential special prosecutor nominees have failed to garner enough votes from the Senate.