Marianas Variety

Monday, November 24, 2014-4:40:08A.M.

Last updateMon, 24 Nov 2014 12am

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DCCA secretary opposes court order to reinstate worker

DEPARTMENT of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Melvin L.O. Faisao is opposing the Superior Court order that he reinstates a juvenile corrections worker.

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Melvin Faisao
In an interview on Friday, Faisao said the reinstatement of Thelma S. Kapileo will jeopardize the safety of the children in the Division of Youth Services’ shelter.

Faisao fired Kapileo on Oct. 5, 2011, saying she failed to perform her duties and responsibilities.

She then sued Faisao and Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, who approved her firing, for unlawful suspension and termination, violation of employment contract, and violation of  U.S. constitutional due process protections. She  asked the court to set aside her suspension and termination and declare DCCA’s action as unlawful.

Last month, Judge David Wiseman ordered the immediate reinstatement of Kapileo, saying the juvenile corrections worker was not provided with a hearing prior to her termination.

But Faisao said, “I respectfully disagree with this latest court order.” He said a child was sexually assaulted under Kapileo’s watch.

“We felt that the government’s interest in protecting the children in the shelter outweighs Ms. Kapileo’s interest in receiving a paycheck. Obviously the court did not see it this way. We fully intend to prove the allegations at trial,” he added.