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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

THREE ASG EMPLOYEES FIGHT TERMINATION

The Administrative Law Judge Toetagata Albert Mailo has granted a request by the government for a continuance in the case of three Port Administration employees who are disputing their termination after they failed a mandatory drug test required of Port Administration Employees. The three men, who received termination letters on July, 2011 were Ierenimo Graf, Tu’ufuli Tu’ufuli, and James Memea.

Speaking with Samoa News, Assistant Attorney General Jay Sayles said, “Port Administration is labeled by the Coast Guard and Homeland Security as a sensitive area and everyone who works at the Port must undergo the drug test which is regulated federally. And the employees took the drug test and failed”.

Sayles requested a continuance so motions can be filed to clear up an evidentiary issue. She explained that the other party is questioning the admissibility of the drug test taken by the three employees. 

Sayles said the three men were initially placed on leave, however they are back to work but they cannot continue on working in the positions they held before. Graf has been employed with the Port for 19 years while Mamea and Tu’ufuli have been working not more than ten years. She added the three are working at a non-sensitive area at the Port, namely with maintenance crew.

Toetagata rescheduled the hearing, which is set for three days starting April 3, 2012. Sayles said the government is looking at calling several witnesses to the stand, including Director of Human Resources Evelyn Vaitaotolu Langford, Port Administration Director Matagi Ray McMoore, Deputy Director of Port Chris King and supervisors of the three men involved.

MEN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING A BUS DRIVER

A 58 year old bus driver lost a tooth and sustained a severe cut on his face after he was allegedly assaulted by two men who appeared before the District Court yesterday morning. Leo Fa’afua and Kaloloa Jr. Semaia are both charged with third degree assault, and Public Peace Disturbance. Fa’afua has an addition charge of property damage against him.

However Assistant Attorney General Camille Phillippe says the government is awaiting the police report to determine whether they will be filing additional charges.

According to the police affidavit, the incident occurred in the early hours Wednesday morning, when Fa’afua was standing near the main road and the victim’s bus pulled over next to him. It’s alleged Fa’afua asked the bus driver if his bus was heading to Aua, and the driver said no.

Police said, Fa’afua then allegedly swore at the bus driver. While the bus sped off it’s alleged the driver also yelled profanity back at Fa’afua. Later in the evening, according to police, Fa’afua and Kalolo went to the main road and waited for the bus. The police affidavit says that when the pair waved down the bus, Fa’afua went into the bus and punched the bus driver on his face, while Kalolo went next to the window and allegedly strangled the bus driver.

It’s alleged Kalolo threw a rock which cracked the windshield of the bus that is now parked at the Central Police station.

Police said the driver managed to get away from the culprits and went straight to the police station for assistance. The bus driver suffered two lacerations on his mouth, which required eight stitches, and he also lost a tooth as a result of the attack.

LILOMAIAVA SA’OLOTOGA

The High Court has accepted a plea agreement between the government and Lilomaiava Sa’olotoga, who is accused of assault. The defendant is accused of hitting another man with a beer bottle in Nu’uuli, back in February 2011.

Sa’olotoga was initially facing charges of first degree assault and public peace disturbance, and yesterday he pled guilty to the amended charge of third degree assault while the government moved to dismiss the PPD charge.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea deal and scheduled sentencing for the defendant on February 11, 2012.

Court affidavit says the now closed Rubbles Tavern in Nu’uuli is where the defendant allegedly assaulted another man. The assault occurred after the defendant found out the victim had allegedly taken some of the beer that was on the defendant’s table.



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