LBJ's HR VP Notice of Immediate Suspension cited “consistent acts of insubordination”
“Consistent acts of insubordination, violation of local and federal government regulations and poor work performance” were among the reasons LBJ Hospital CEO Joe Davis-Fleming moved to place Human Resources Vice President, Ana Mageo Hargett on disciplinary suspension.
This was revealed in an Aug. 16 letter from Fleming to Hargett.
Samoa News has obtained a copy of the letter in which Fleming blasts Hargett saying, "I have reached the conclusion that your continued employment at LBJ would be seriously detrimental to the hospital's future and would only further hinder my ability and that of the rest of my team to implement the many improvements needed to best serve the people of American Samoa."
Fleming's letter noted the subject matter as "Notice of Immediate Suspension/Pre-termination Notice."
Prior to obtaining the letter, Samoa News sent queries to the hospital CEO who explained that Hargett was still employed at LBJ until last Friday, August 23, after which she will be "officially retiring after working here since 1971, and will be recognized accordingly for her 43 years of service.”
In his email, Fleming explained that he cannot say more about Hargett or any other employee at LBJ — past and present — "since it is hospital policy to protect our employees’ right to privacy."
However, Fleming’s letter-notice tells a different story.
In his letter, Fleming informed Hargett she is relieved of her duty as vice president of human resources effective immediately. "This action is taken for many reasons that I shall present to you in a follow-up letter next week, but was decided after receiving your letter dated July 18 (but only delivered on Aug. 12) with the subject title "Falsification of Application" in regards to my employment as hospital CEO with request that I be terminated," Fleming wrote.
It was Hargett who informed hospital board members through a letter that the newly hired hospital CEO made a “false statement” on his application for employment with the hospital. (Refer to Samoa News August 22, 2013 edition for complete details.)
Fleming, in his letter, told Hargett he consulted with interim board chair Mase and all other board members, including the former board chair Sandra King Young, and have concluded that "I am forced to exercise my authority as ASMCA/LBJTMC CEO in a manner that I was hoping to avoid."
He notified Hargett of his intent to terminate her employment from the ASMCA/LBJTMC by Friday, August 23 "for your continuous acts of insubordination and your role in inciting employees against me and the hospital board witnessed and unauthorized public release of private personnel information since May 2013, in addition to your many years of management malpractice as demonstrated by the many serious staffing, financial, operational, and regulatory compliance problems that has put our hospital at risk of closure.”
Fleming wrote, "In the interim, I will serve as acting HR director until I can hire a qualified replacement."
He told Hargett she has the opportunity to submit in writing directly to him, a notice of voluntary resignation/retirement from employment no later than 9a.m. on Friday, August 23, 2013 — “otherwise I will conclude your employment suspension period with an involuntary termination.”
(Samoa News could not confirm whether or not Hargett submitted a notice.)
Fleming also told Hargett that her suspension from duty would be with pay, and she was prohibited from entering the hospital premises unless it's related to personal family medical purposes or if requested to meet with him regarding this matter.
Additionally, Hargett’s hospital computer privileges were also revoked and she was prohibited from removing any hospital documents and other hospital property from the premises.
Hargett has the right to contest the action by submitting a formal written request for a hearing with the hospital board within 10 calendar working days from date of the letter — which according to the date of the letter, Aug. 16, would be today, Aug. 26.
Copies of Fleming's letter were forwarded to hospital board members, CMO Dr. Akapusi Ledua and CFO Leilua Stevenson.
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