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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

FORMER SENATOR PLACED ON PROBATION FOR DUI

District Court Judge John Ward has revoked the driver’s license of former Senator Fiatauiaulava Jerry Sauni and placed him on six months probation after he was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in December last year.

Fiatauiaulava was initially charged with DUI and reckless driving, however a bench trial convicted him of the DUI, and acquitted him of the remaining charge.

Judge Ward noted that when the defendant was pulled over, the breathalyzer test had it that he had .188% of alcohol in his system.

Fiatauiaulava told the court that on the day in question he attended a Christmas party at his office where he had consumed alcohol and on his way home he was pulled over by police.

Judge Ward sentenced the defendant to six months probation under the condition that he pay a fine of $190. Ward also revoked his driver’s license for six months, and told him that he must not consume any alcohol during his probation term.

Fiatauiaulava was also ordered not to drive during suspension of his license, and to remain a law abiding citizen.

Prosecuting this matter was Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley while Fiatauiaualava is represented by Mark Ude.

HEARING FOR ASG EMPLOYEES FIGHTING TERMINATION TAKEN OFF CALENDAR

The Administrative Law Judge Toetagata Albert Mailo has taken the hearing that was scheduled for the three Port Administration employees who are disputing their termination after they failed a mandatory drug test required of Port Administration Employees, off the calendar.

The hearing was scheduled for June 17 and 18, 2012; however when the case was called, Sharron Rancourt, the lawyer for the three government employees was not present. Samoa News understands the counsel is still off island.

Toetagata took the matter off calendar and explained that all parties for this case should get together and schedule another hearing date, and then this matter will be calendared.

Assistant Attorney General Bensy Benjamin told Samoa News that an offer was made to Ierenimo Graf, Tu’ufuli Tu’ufuli, and James Mamea, however they did not accept it.

Ms Benjamin declined to give the details of the offer. According to the government’s case, the three men received termination letters on July, 2011.

The second prosecutor in this case, Assistant Attorney General Sayles said the Port Administration is labeled by the Coast Guard and Homeland Security as a sensitive area, and every one working at the Port must undergo drug tests which are regulated by federal laws. He said the three Port employees took the drug test and failed.

The three men were initially placed on leave, however they’re back at work, only not in the positions they previously held.

Graf has been employed with the Port for 19 years, while Mamea and Tu’ufuli have been working not more than 10 years. .

MATTHEW YANDALL’S PLEA DEAL AMENDED

Another continuance was requested in the government’s case against Matthew Yandall facing second-degree assault in connection with a case involving the defendant’s girlfriend.

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau told the court that she had just received additional information, and the government will move to amend the plea deal offer, which has already been handed over to the defendant.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond granted the request and scheduled the plea deal hearing on July 20, 2012.

According to the government’s case Yandall is accused of assaulting his girlfriend while intoxicated, after Christmas last year. The victim was admitted to the hospital as a result of the alleged assault.

Accompanying Richmond on the bench was Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

Yandall is represented by Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin.



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