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“Put people first”

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Pro Tempore, Marie A. Alailima during Wednesday’s cabinet meeting. [photo: FS]

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga announced that he and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga have appointed Marie A. Alailima to the post of Administrative Law Judge.

Lolo says they recommended to Alailima to put people first during her tenure. Additionally, the nomination of the new ALJ will be submitted in January 2018 for confirmation when the Fono convenes for the 3rd Regular Session of the 35th Legislature, Under local law the Office of the Administrative Law Judge, which is headed by the ALJ, is part of the Executive Branch; and the ALJ is subject to Senate confirmation only. The term is six years.

If confirmed by the Senate, Alailima takes over the post from former ALJ, Toetagata Albert Mailo, who served for two consecutive six-year terms and has since retired due to medical reasons.

The ALJ deals mainly with government personnel issues — in areas such as transfers, termination, demotion and promotions — when there are differences between a director, supervisor and employee. The ALJ also deals with procurement matters as well as workmen’s compensation cases.

Alailima was first appointed by former Gov. Togiola Tulafono and confirmed by the Senate in early 2007 as the ALJ pro tempore. She operates the law firm of Marie A. Alailima attorney-at-law, and has been a practicing attorney on island for many years, dealing in matters not only in the High Court, but also with the Office of Administrative Law Judge.