Six female workers at OPAD object to Thompson hire
The transfer of Brian Urosa Thompson to work at the Officer of Protection and Advocacy for the Disabled is not sitting well with several female employees of OPAD.
Six women in the OPAD office have since written to their Director, Matautu Dr. Peter Tinitali pointing out their concerns regarding the hiring of Thompson given he has a “criminal record” says the letter. Samoa News understands that Thompson is to be the Deputy Director for OPAD.
The six OPAD female employees, who signed the April 2, 2013 letter, are CAP Manager Hellene F Stanley, PAIR Manager Fiaava’e Savali, PADD Manager Mi-Sook Save, PAIMI Manager Denise Thomsen, In Take-Specialist Siui’i Pasikale and Field Representative Vagana Siaosi.
Copies of the letter were sent to Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Human Resources Director Le’i Sonny Thompson and Attorney General Afoa L Su’esu’e Lutu.
“The concern expressed is out of fear, as the majority of the OPAD staff members are ladies. Since he (Thompson) has a criminal record, nobody can guarantee he won’t do it again and we don’t feel safe with him around,” says the letter.
The letter further alleges that “Brian Thompson was initially charged with first degree sexual abuse which was amended to third degree assault and he was sentenced to probation of two years in December 2011; so he is still on probation.”
The female employees pointed out that they are aware that the Department of Human Resources has a policy and procedure on background checks, also the American Samoa Administrative Code of hiring individuals with criminal records. Samoa News notes the letter did not specify which chapter or title they were referring to under the ASCA.
The letter further states, “it is lawful for an employer to dismiss an employee for not disclosing a conviction regardless of its relevance to the job duties of the position. Therefore, we generally suggest the hiring of Brian Thompson must be reconsidered.”
One of the six women told Samoa News that Thompson was seen at their office on several occasions and he’s scheduled to start at OPAD next week Monday.
As reported earlier by Samoa News, eyebrows were raised when Thompson was hired to work for the Governor’s office as their tech person, given he has a criminal record.
Thompson was accused of touching his wife’s niece inappropriately and was initially charged with first degree sexual abuse, which was amended to third degree assault, a misdemeanor, for offensive touching.
Thompson in his 30’s entered his guilty plea December 2011 and was sentenced to probation for two years. The probation office has confirmed with Samoa News that Thompson is currently on probation.
Thompson, in response to Samoa News queries regarding the letter, said that it’s truly a blessing to go into a situation knowing the true feelings of individuals who you will be working with.
“They have every right to fear something or someone they do not understand," he said, adding, "I am grateful for the opportunity to use my 15 years of professional experience with Special Education in the Office of OPAD.”
Thompson further stated that as publicized on numerous occasions, he had pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor.
“I have cleared all background and clearance checks from the local DPS and Homeland Security as mandated by law. My situation is a matter of public record, and I am also looking forward to that one day I may earn their trust and respect."
“If at any time they feel harassed by any professional they will have every right to visit the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) office for assistance. They are located on the 2nd Floor of the Executive Office Building (EOB) within the Department of Human Resources office,” said Thompson.
He noted that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment & pregnancy), national origin, religion and retaliation.
There are five (5) laws enforced by the EEOC:
* Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
* Age Discrimination Act
* Equal Pay Act
* Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
* The Genetic Information Act
For questions or inquiries, you can contact the EEO at 633-4485:
EEO Officer EEO Administrative Asst. EEO Compliance Officer
Kereti Matautia Monalisa Matautia Nanai Candie Mutini
Ext: 269 Ext: 230 Ext: 229
Samoa News understands copies of this letter were distributed to the Judicial Branch, the Senate President, Senators, House Speaker and Representatives.