Sacked cop threatens legal action

By Deidre Fanene 14 March 2016, 12:00AM

A Police Constable, Dave Tomasi, who has been sacked is considering a lawsuit against the Ministry of Police and the Police Commissioner. Mr. Tomasi, whose services were terminated before the General Elections, was the Police officer who made national headlines for stopping Police Commissioner, Fuiava Egon Keil, about an alleged parking infringement in town.

The matter reached Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the Office of the Ombudsman when Mr. Tomasi complained about his treatment since the incident.

This time, Mr. Tomasi no longer has a job. 

According to Mr. Tomasi, among the reasons cited for his sacking include “getting into a Police vehicle without permission” and leaking information to the media.

Another incident cited involved Mr. Tomasi’s decision to issue a ticket to the daughter in law of a prominent member of the community who then complained to the Police.

 “I warned his daughter in law three times for talking on the phone while driving but when she came around on that day, she was still on the phone and so I gave her a ticket,” he said.

“It wasn’t a major issue but because these people have been trying to find something to get rid of me, they have now found it.” Mr. Tomasi said he became a Police officer to uphold the law and ensure justice is served.  “The way the ministry has handled my case is unacceptable and very unprofessional,” he told the Samoa Observer.

“I know these issues all started from my case with the Police Commissioner last year and then I went to the media. I feel that I’ve been victimised because of that.” Approached for a comment at his office, Police Commissioner Fuiavailili was reluctant. He said the matter is finished and did not elaborate.

When Assistant Police Commissioner, Afamasaga Michael So’onalole, was contacted, he passed the buck.

“Ask the Police Commissioner first,” he said. “I can’t say anything unless he gives the okay for me to speak on his behalf.”  “To be very honest I’m glad that I can actually have peace. The way I have been treated in the Police office since this started has been harrowing. It’s been really difficult.”  Mr. Tomasi said the decision to sack him came from Assistant Police Commissioner, Afamasaga Michael So’onalole.

“I am not sure whether Afamasaga was merely delivering the decision,” said Mr. Tomasi. “The Police Commissioner should’ve told me himself of his decision.”

Asked what his next step will be, he said: “I am planning on taking legal action against the Police Commissioner and the Ministry.”  He said he is looking for a lawyer to take up the matter in Court.

By Deidre Fanene 14 March 2016, 12:00AM

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