Top Palau prosecutor quits early

Koror, Palau -- Special Prosecutor Steven Killelea has formally given notice of his resignation as Palau’s top prosecutor having served less than three years into his five-year term.

Mr. Killelea is resigning to return home to Boston, Massachusetts with his wife who will be taking a position at the New England Aquarium. Killelea’s wife, Nicolle Fagan, is a co-founder of the Palau Legacy Project, which created the in-flight videos for inbound flights and the Palau Pledge.

“I am giving notice of my resignation because my wife Nicolle Fagan, co-founder of the Palau Legacy Project, has been extended an amazing opportunity to return to our hometown of Boston and take over the strategic marketing efforts for the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium,” Killelea said in resignation letter to President Remengesau on Feb. 5.

In his letter, Killelea didn’t provide the date of his last day in office but said his notice "will require further discussion about the transition of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to new leadership.” He also asked the president to begin that transition as soon as possible.

He further maintained he will be handing over a much different OSP from the one he inherited.

“Instead of chaos and turmoil, I offer the next Special Prosecutor the opportunity to take over an office staffed by very capable and competent staff members who have strived to maintain the highest levels of professionalism and ethics while investigating and prosecuting matters of public corruption and related crime,” Killelea said.

Killelea was first hired as an assistant interim special prosecutor and became a full-fledged special prosecutor in April 2016 following the resignation of Interim Special Prosecutor Melissa Simms.

Killelea becomes the third straight special prosecutor to resign without serving the full-term in office.