Cook Islands News reported yesterday that there was an allegation into her expenditure on an Infrastructure Cook Islands function at Edgewater Resort.
Thomas said: “It is a conduct issue which is why I have set her aside from her responsibility as head of ministry, to allow my team to look into the allegation.”
“This is a standard practice. Until the report is completed, I cannot make any further comments.”
Infrastructure Minister Robert Tepaitau would not comment yesterday on what he knew of the Edgewater function.
Charlie-Puna was named Infrastructure Secretary last year after previously serving as the ministry’s director of corporate services. She had declined to comment.
She is taking legal advice to defend her position, ahead of the findings of the Commissioner’s inquiry.