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Staff complains over likely re-hire of accused thief

“Jennifer Tofaeono’s application for employment at the hospital is pending, she’s not officially hired,” said LBJ Hospital’s Human Resources Director, Kimiti Emmsley in response to Samoa News queries.


Last week, Samoa News received numerous complaints from hospital employees claiming Ms Tofaeono was seen at the hospital with CEO Joseph Davis Fleming at the Human Resources office, being introduced as a new employee.


LBJ’s HR Director told Samoa News over the phone they are waiting for a legal opinion from the hospital’s legal advisor and it’s with that opinion the hospital’s HR will then make a determination on Tofaeono’s application — but in the meantime “she’s not a hospital employee yet”. Mrs. Emmsley then declined to further comment on the matter.


Tofaeono was the hospital’s Business Office Manager several years ago and criminal charges have since been filed against her in connection with the time she worked in that capacity. She’s currently facing criminal charges for allegedly tampering with evidence, stealing and embezzlement. Her case is pending in the High Court.


In the meantime, Hospital Board member Velega Savali Jr said he has also received calls from hospital employees, who are disturbed by this move to hire Tofaeono.


Velega told Samoa News that while it’s true the case is pending, it’s having a negative impact on the employees, by allowing them to believe it’s ok to commit a crime because they can remain working for the agency or department they committed the crime against.


“This is not an honorable thing to do,” said Velega.


One senior doctor told Samoa News this move is an insult to the entire institution and will cause problems for employees who will not respect and honor hospital leaders.


Questions sent to Hospital Board Chairman Mase Akapo and the Hospital CEO regarding this matter were not returned as of press time.




Samoa News should point out Ms Tofaeono’s father is Dr. Victor Tofaeono, who is the Vice Chairman of the Hospital Board.


Currently all charges in Tofaeono’s case have been bound over to high court.


Court filings say the hospital’s former Finance Manager Viola Babcock conducted an investigation in May 2013 into reports that from May 2009 through June 2011 credit cards were being run on the LBJ credit card machines, and the receipts used to take cash from LBJ cashiers.


The government’s case claims receipts for certain credit cards belonging to different people and entities were not transferred into LBJ accounts, but instead voided through the LBJ merchant (credit card) machine, and the underlying amounts did not show up on the corresponding bank statements — yet cash was obtained by the defendant using said receipts totaling over $80,000.


Court filings say Tofaeono also requested the LBJ Finance Office not receive a copy of the credit card report.