Democratic Party leader Tina Browne confirms the Opposition Caucus has held confidential discussions to address the future of her chief of staff William Framhein, after he admitted making a controversial Facebook post then lying to police to cover up.
She was quick to quash rumours of tension and division within the party, saying a number of options were discussed including termination of Framhein’s employment and extended suspension without pay.
“The options discussed were not limited to two,” she said.
She declined to speak further on the issue.
MP George Maggie, the Cabinet minister at the centre of the initial post who was accused of supplying alcohol and drugs to minors, had earlier called for the party to sack the post’s author.
Last night he said he was disappointed and hurt by the revelation that it was Framhein who was the author, but it was not up to him to decide what happens to him next.
“That is a decision for his leader and the Democratic Party caucus to make, not me, so I have nothing further to say about the matter,” Maggie said.
The Opposition leader’s CEO Framhein found himself in hot water after initially categorically denying inappropriately posting on Facebook at the funeral service of Mona Ioane Junior, about the speech made by young Mona’s father and the allegations against Maggie
Framhein acknowledged he was one of the page’s adminstrators, but denied to police, his family and Cook Islands News that he was responsible.
The post sparked public outrage on the social media forum and the party removed the post almost immediately.
Browne was forced to issue a statement apologising to the Ioane family and to George Maggie.
This week, in a statement to Cook Islands News, Framhein admitted he was the post’s author.
In the statement, Framhein unreservedly apologised to the Democratic party and said out of necessity he was compelled to deny making the post on the party’s Facebook page.
“This is because my life was threatened and my family was also threatened,” he said.