Everett Walton, Lawyer
Excerpts from Transparency International
2004 Report for the Republic of Palau

"The position of Special Prosecutor is a high-
profile position, and the individual holding the
job needs a thick skin and a strong backbone . . .  
With the approval of the Senate, Walton began
his five-year tenure in 2001 and has become
locally popular for his ‘no nonsense’ approach to
investigating and prosecuting corruption.
                            * * * *
The Office of Special Prosecutor especially is a
unique pillar of good governance in the Pacific.
The fact that Mr. Walton, SP, and the Public
Auditor enjoy wide public support bodes well for
good governance and transparency in the
Republic of Palau.
                             * * * *
Palau’s Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) has
been very effective. Generally speaking, the
person holding the prosecutor position is most
effective if he/she is from off-island. Off-island
prosecutors are not subject to subtle pressures
from old friends, relatives, parents, or spouses
and are able to do their work with a good degree
of impartiality.  Palau’s OSP ought to be
considered an example of best practice.
                            * * * *
The position of Special Prosecutor has been
particularly important in investigating and
eventually punishing corrupt practices - so much
so that Congress attempted to do away with the
position after the SP accused almost every
Congressman of misuse of travel funds in 2002/3.
                            * * * *
The settlement of many of the suits begun by
Palau’s Special Prosecutor against 20 or so
National Congressmen provide a crude measure
of the cost of corruption in the National Congress.
The total paid in settlement exceeded a quarter of
a million US dollars.
                            * * * *
These cases make for sensational news on radio,
television and in the local newspapers . . .  the
Governor of Koror, brother of a high chief, was
found guilty of conflict of interest regarding a
piece of land he agreed to lease out to a metal
recycling company. The SP learned that the
Governor owned the land, filed suit and won in
court. The Governor was found guilty of violating
Palau’s Code of Ethics Act, by using his public
office for personal gain.
                             * * * *
The SP enjoys wide public support . . . ."

        
National Integrity Systems

        Transparency International
           Country Study Report

          Republic of Palau 2004

Publication Details

Author: Donald R. Shuster, Professor,
Micronesian Areas Research Center, University
of Guam, Mangilao, Guam, 96923.

First published 2004 by Transparency
International Australia P.O. Box 41 Blackburn
South Victoria 3130 Australia.

http://www.transparency.org.au

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