26 Jul 2013

Samoa ombudsman affirms testimony in Seve case

6:57 pm on 26 July 2013

Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, is satisfied with evidence from staff members of the Samoa Fire and Emergency service authority in support of their allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of power by the sacked fire commissioner, Seve Tony Hill.

The Ombudsman's investigation followed a referral from the prime minister.

The report has revealed a number of complaints involving physical assault and verbal abuse against some fire officers by the commissioner.

There were also sexual harassment complaints by two women employees.

The report says a rape complaint which was lodged with the police had been withdrawn after the then police and fire minister had called a reconciliation meeting between the parents of the complainant and the commissioner.

Another sexual harassment complaint is now before the courts.

Last week, the cabinet terminated Mr Hill's contract, after extending it for four months for the ombudsman's investigation.