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MAN ACCUSED OF BRIBING AN OFFICER FIGHTS HIS CASE IN TRIAL

Taxi driver Emmanuel Ulberg accused of bribing a police officer with $100 after he was pulled over for a suspected DUI, is fighting the government’s case against him in a jury trial.

Ulberg is charged with bribery of a public servant, driving while under the influence (DUI), prohibited place of consumption and careless driving.

Assistant Public Defender Mike White told the court they have yet to resolve this matter with the government and asked the court to set this case for jury trial. Presiding over the matter was Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, accompanied on the bench by Associate Judges Muasau Tofili Tasina and Mamea Sala Jr.

The Assistant PD confirmed there was a plea agreement that was sent to Ulberg by the government, however Ulberg opted to have this case set for trial in March 2013.

According to the government’s case, on April 15, 2012, police officers, patrolling near the stadium, came across Ulberg who was allegedly swerving near the stadium.  The defendant failed the Standard Field Sobriety Test, however when the officer attempted to start on the breathalyzer test, the defendant handed the officer $100.

It's alleged Ulberg told the cop to give him a chance and take him home however, the officer gave the defendant back his money and placed him under arrest.

PLEA OFFER ACCEPTED BY FORMER POLY AIR EMPLOYEE

A plea deal offer offered to a former Polynesian Airlines employee in Pago Pago charged with the alleged theft of more than $10,000 belonging to the carrier, has been accepted verbally by the defendant.

Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde asked the court for a brief continuance while the documents are prepared and filed.

Richmond accepted the request and scheduled another pre-trial conference next week for a change of plea hearing.

According to court documents, defendant Judy Mata’utia was acting area manager for the Polynesian Airlines’ Pago Pago office between March and October of 2010, when the crime allegedly occurred before she was terminated. Matautia is charged with one count of embezzlement and passing bad checks.

According to the government’s case the defendant used the money for herself after fabricating bank deposit slips and forwarding those deposit records to the airline’s Apia office, where the discrepancies were discovered. The airline’s main office obtained bank records and statements during its probe.

A seven-page court affidavit outlines dates and amounts of money involved in each discrepancy. For example, it is alleged the defendant removed the cash for her personal use and then fabricated a deposit slip in cash and checks.

The affidavit further alleges that in at least three incidents, the defendant would make a bank deposit and then ask for two deposit receipts. She would later alter the duplicate of the deposit receipts to reflect a different date.

The affidavit states there were two other incidents in which Matautia took cash from Polynesian Airlines — totaling around $4,000 — replacing that money with two checks from the same church. Also cited in the affidavit was an incident in which the defendant took close to $2,000 in cash from Polynesian Airlines and used another individual’s checks to cover this amount.

JOHN SCHUSTER CHARGED IN STONING INCIDENT

A man accused of stoning a home in Ili’ili was arrested Wednesday evening and made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning. John Schuster is charged with public peace disturbance however the government is looking into this matter as additional charges could be filed.

According to the government’s case, police received a call from a woman, that a man who was intoxicated, came to her residence, assaulted her husband and later threw rocks at her house damaging the windows to the house.

It’s alleged that when police arrived the intersection in Ili’ili, the police car was waved down by the woman who reported the incident.

The woman told police that she fears for the life of her children, because the defendant threw rocks at her house.  Police, while responding to the call, met up with the defendant on the road.

The woman’s husband told police he was approached by Schuster who allegedly grabbed his arm, pushed him and punched him three times. The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.



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