16 Oct 2008

American Samoa's deputy Director of Education's compensation investigated

9:13 am on 16 October 2008

The LBJ Hospital has refused a request from the Senate Select Investigative committee to turn over medical records for deputy Director of Education Aomalo Manupo Turituri.

The hospital says it is barred under federal patient privacy regulations, from releasing Aomalo's patient file without his consent.

The committee asked for Aomalo's patient record as part of its probe into the 61,000 US dollar award the Director received from the Workmans Compensation Commission.

The DOE official had convinced the commission, of which he is a member that "excessive sitting" on his DOE executive office chair resulted in back injuries.

He claimed the injuries were permanent after he slipped and fell at the door to his office in Decemebr 2006.

Several private sector and government workers who are still waiting for their claims to be settled are said to have made their displeasure known to the Senate Investigative Committee.

Police officers who received serious injuries in the line of duty have also complained about the insignificant amount the Workmans Compensation Commission paid them compared to the payout for the Director.

Aomalo has declined to comment on the matter.

He has pointed out that the commission reviewed and approved his claim based on medical reports and that the amount was based on his salary as deputy director of the Education Department.