FSM Government fires DeOrio and Oliver for “leaking” document regarding “public project”

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press


November 28, 2020

FSM—After having suspended Mark DeOrio and his wife Norleen Oliver without pay in mid-October, the FSM Government has now taken the step of terminating their employment.  Both DeOrio and Oliver are facing criminal charges related to actions taken to attempt to block a “public project” that would pave a road through the land they occupy that leads only to Patricia Edwin’s family home.

The separate letters that National Police delivered to DeOrio and Oliver on November 18 said that they had 15 calendar days to submit a written appeal to the action.  According to Oliver, the Government isn’t forthcoming with information on exactly what should be done.  She said that her husband’s attempt to meet with the Department of Personnel for information on policy and other information pertaining to their employment and the process of appeal was “met with great resistance.”  She said that he was told that a memo had been circulated within the National Departments that instructed employees to refrain from communicating with DeOrio and Oliver, but that the memo had been labeled “confidential”.

Indeed, according to the FSM Public Information Officer, employees have been instructed not to discuss the ongoing matter and he could not do so.

Each letter to DeOrio and to Oliver said that the Department heads were taking the termination action based on a written recommendation from the Department of Justice. The terminations were issued for:

“Stealing of official information”;

“Breach of Executive Privilege consisting of a communication between President and Cabinet member”;

“Conflict of Interest”; and

“Violation of Executive Order No. 1 (2008) as amended which delineates the mandates of the several divisions of the Department of TC&I”

DeOrio is criminally accused of charges similar to those listed in the reasons for the government’s decision to terminate his employment but his case has not yet been heard. The felony charge the government filed against his wife was already thrown out by the time the government fired her.  The remaining misdemeanor charge against her has nothing to do with the government’s listed reasons for firing her.

“Taking into consideration the proposed termination and the explanation you offered, the Government has decided to terminate your employment. The Government is of the view that your termination will serve the good of the public service,” said TC&I Secretary Apis’s letter of termination to DeOrio. Earlier in the letter he wrote, “I am convinced that your termination from employment is warranted and in the best interest of the public service.”

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Livingston Taulung’s worded the likely DOJ issued wording more tersely.  “I have decided to terminate your employment effective today upon your receipt of this notice. This termination serves the good of public service.”

None of the cases filed at the FSM Supreme Court against DeOrio or Oliver have reached anything like a final disposition, and Oliver’s civil action is also still in preliminary stages.

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