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Office party fight results in DPW worker sentenced to probation

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A Dept. of Public Works employee who got into a fight with his supervisor during an office party last December has been sentenced to 6 months probation, and ordered to pay $100 within 30 days.

Fealofani Matuu appeared in District Court yesterday morning where he pled guilty to public peace disturbance.

When Judge Elvis P. Patea asked the defendant to explain what happened, Matuu said he got into a fight with his supervisor at the DPW compound during an after hours party.

Matuu told the judge he didn't start the fight.

According to information revealed in court, cops who were gassing up their vehicles at the nearby motor pool heard the ruckus and went over to investigate.

When asked if he still works at DPW, the defendant said yes. Conditions of probation include attending and successfully completing an alcohol counseling program.

"You're still young," Judge Patea said to the defendant. "You need counseling… it will do you good and help you."

Judge Patea's final words to Matuu: "You shouldn't be fighting at work, let alone with your supervisor."


A first time offender who told the court he already made restitution to the victim has been sentenced to 6 months probation and ordered to attend and complete an alcohol counseling program.

Pan Tapualii appeared in District Court yesterday morning where he pled guilty to third degree property damage for an incident that occurred last September, where he had thrown rocks that damaged the victim's windows.

When asked by Judge Patea how much restitution he made, Tapualii said $5,000 worth of repairs, and it was his parents that paid the bulk of it, as he is not employed.

The court wanted to know from prosecutor Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell if the victim was asking for more restitution. Mitchell said he didn't know.

During sentencing, Judge Patea said the court will take Tapualii's word, regarding restitution already being made, and ordered that the $500 fine be deferred