Democratic Party chief of staff William Framhein has finally owned up to being the author of last week’s “inappropriate” social post from 14-year-old Mona Ioane’s funeral service.
The post, on the party’s Facebook page, accused MP George Maggie of supplying alcohol and drugs to minors.
He had categorically denied responsibility for the post, in robust phone conversations last week with both a reporter and the editor of the Cook Islands News. He admitted he was an administrator of the party’s Facebook page, but said he didn’t know who made the post – or even who the other admins were.
He also denied to police, and to members of his own family, that he was responsible.
But yesterday, he wrote to the Cook Islands News editor and to opposition leader Tina Browne, admitting he was the author of the post. “I also confess that I had denied making this post.”
Tina Browne – asked yesterday whether Framhein would keep his job – declined to comment.
Framhein writes: “Out of necessity I was compelled to deny making the post on the Democratic Party Facebook page. This is because my life was threatened and my family was also threatened. This was and still is, a real death threat which was sent to me in a post on Facebook.”
READ MORE: Letters: Demos boss admits social post
He supplied a screengrab of a threat, accompanied by a photo of a machete. He had laid a police complaint about the threat, he said, and would follow up with Cook Islands Police Commissioner Maara Tetava.
George Maggie had called for whoever was responsible for the post to be immediately sacked.
Framheim issued an “unreserved” apology to the Democratic Party, for his mistake. “I apologise for that mistake and take full responsibility.”
He had been to see Mona Ioane Sr and his family, to offer his apology for the timing of the post, he said.
However, he stopped short of apologising to Maggie – or retracting his comments about Mona Ioane Sr’s speech at the funeral service
“He was brave and had the guts to tell it how it is with young people and pleading with them to change their ways.
“Mona presented an amazing message, it was powerful and useful and I thought it was important for those who were not at the service to know what he said despite the pain he and his wife were suffering.
“I apologise to Mona and his family for the bad timing of the post but I was so touched by the moment when he expressed his desire to do whatever it takes to save other lives and that’s what drove me to making the post in church.”