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Dear Editor,

Vile practices are perpetuated by unchecked leaders in ASG. A long standing and ongoing problem has been brewing in this office. A problem that hindered progress and creating a negative impact on the daily productivity and operation of this office. This is about an employee trying to get access into the office during normal working hours.

This unresolved issue involves a 60-year-old senior employee  deliberately deprived of her work area and constantly locked out of the office during working hours. This same employee is either forced to hang around outside for hours, sent to other locations to wait, or sent home while the office remains locked. A federally funded office that serves the public with 5 staff members who are all absent at a time and keeping the office locked during working hours. I believe  this is dereliction of duty.

Unable to get some form of resolution from the American Samoa Historic Preservation Office Director Mrs. Leticia Peau Folau and the Deputy Director of ASHPO Teleiai Christian Ausage, for this ongoing problem, the employee decided to exercise her rights and seek assistance.

May 23, 2019 — Letters had been written and sent to the Equal Employment Office/ Labor and Wage representative Mrs. Eseta Kruse and the Deputy Director Human Resources John Ah Sue for advice and direction. The Governor's Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua was also aware of the issue since 2018. There has been no response or action taken.

May 30, 2019  — Another grievance letter of same concern was generated and sent to the Dir. of ASHPO and cc'd to the Deputy. The Deputy Director’s angry response resounded throughout the office in reaction to the letter.

He maliciously yelled innuendos and racial slurs at the employee in the Samoan language. Loudly scolding and demanding if the employee is a white (palagi) person. If so, she should go to work where only white people work. Because only brainless white people write stupid "letters like this”.

He indicated the power he has through his relationship with Governor Lolo and he will tell the Governor to fire her. The Dep. Director's un-contained anger blew as he demanded if the employee knew who he was. That he was directed by the Governor to protect the Director of this office. Then he further spewed out that he is a  matai/high chief, that he has over 10 ranking matai titles under his name. His body language emanated much power and rage.

While pacing with anger he loudly says to the Director he is leaving before he slaps someone's face in this office. He then directs his glare at the employee repeating “I better leave before I slap someone's face in this office”.

To add salt to insult and injury, the Director sat behind her desk with her arms folded watching the entire ugly and dehumanizing scene. She never once made an attempt to intervene or stop this verbal and frightening assault upon the employee. Her response to the employee was, “No wonder Chris is angry, you wrote in your letter you will go to the EEO”.

In other words, to the employee's mind, the Deputy Director has the power and authority to degrade and mow down anyone who goes up against the will of the Director. It appeared as if his verbal assault is to discourage her from reporting this abuse or else incur his wrath. The employee fears if the Director allows Teleiai to treat her like this, what is to stop anyone else from doing the same thing to her?

The failure of our local Equal Employment Office and the Human Resources office to take any action, resulted in the employee being forced to suffer and be subjected to the ongoing major hardships, abuse, and scorn within the working environment.

I want to thank this 60-year-old employee for finally stepping out and away from an indifferent ASG entity mandated to protect employees rights.

The public should be made aware of the blatant violation of human rights and the abuse of power and authority within the ASG workforce by supervisors and some of the Governor's cabinet members. An attitude some people believe, they are the law behind closed office doors.

Speak out and expose this criminal and vile behavior. Report abuse and the violation of your rights within the workforce. You are protected against retaliation.

You can bypass ASG local EEO and HR office and go directly to: Glory Gervacio Saure, Director EEOC, federal office Honolulu, HI. Her direct line is (808) 541-3722 <> or local Victims Advocate <> (68) 699-5683 or (684) 252-4889.

(The victim came to me 6/3/19. I visited the EEO office 6/5/19 and left a message to call me. She never responded. The following day, she called the victim who was in my office., asking if she's been given a key yet. Also, she cannot help her because the ASHPO Office falls under the Governor's Office and her hands are tied because Chief of Staff Fiu is off island).

Ipu Avegalio

Victim Advocate