GOVERNOR'S THUGS PLAY ROLE TO GET GLEN HUNTER FIRED

February 18, 2013

Some people never learn, which is exactly why the corrupt and mafia-style governor of the CNMI, Benigno R. Fitial was impeached by the House and faces a trial in the Senate.

Governor Fitial must go!

Reform activist Glen Hunter, who has led the campaign to rid the CNMI of corruption, was terminated by his employer, Coca-Cola Beverage Company of Guam and Micronesia, Inc.

Ex-felon, Diego Blanco, acting on behalf of corrupt Governor Fitial, strong armed Glen's employer to terminate him because of his political activism. Apparently, the governor and his felon pal thought the boss could convince Glen to stop exposing and opposing the governor's corruption if he thought he could lose his job if he didn't stop. They were too stupid to know that not everyone can be threatened, blackmailed or bought off by corrupt schemes. Glen Hunter  has integrity, a quality the governor and his thugs do not possess or understand.

The contrast between the governor and his thugs and Glen Hunter is like night and day. The governor and his thugs are vindictive and corrupt. Glen Hunter is noble and honest. The governor and his thugs use threats and blackmail to meet their goals.  Glen Hunter uses truth and facts to educate the public.

Glen wrote this statement:
In October 2012, I was informed that Diego Blanco was trying to get me fired. Diego Blanco, acting on behalf of Governor Fitial, attempted to intimidate the companies that employed me with threats of a boycott and loss of government contracts because of my public statements against government corruption. He also contacted one of the company’s shareholders with these threats and asked for the full name of my boss, Johnnie Fong, because he wanted to look into him further. 
I was disgusted, but not surprised, to receive this information. Since coming into power, this administration has operated on fear and shown itself more than willing to employ the thuggish tactics of agents like Blanco. I immediately went to my boss, Fong, and informed him that Blanco, an ex-convict, was looking into his past and making threats against the company. 
Fong had already spoken to the shareholder and was very concerned. He said that he, and the shareholder, were both under strong pressure by the administration to do something about me due to my political stances. Although Fong didn’t think a boycott would have any effect on the companies, he was worried about a loss of contracts for the shareholder. I told him that that is a huge problem with this island that needs to change: government officials interfering with private business for purely political reasons. A governor should not have the power to dictate to a company who to hire and fire. As long as people – and the business community - are silent and do as they are warned, this extremely anti-business practice will continue, and the economy will continue to suffer. 
After a lengthy conversation, I told Fong that he could simply follow the law, not give in to political thuggery, and tell the administration to go to hell. I told him that the problem was not me speaking out against public corruption, but a government leadership that makes political threats against private businesses. Fong asked me to speak to the shareholder, which I did. The conversation was very similar. The shareholder told me that the administration was pushing hard to have me removed and to silence me. He was also not worried about the boycott threats, but he was concerned about the contracts. He asked if there was any way I could quiet down on politics, at least until after the election. I answered honestly and told him that I would not stop being an active citizen. I assured him that I did my job very well and received accolades. My political stances had no impact on my business performance. He said that he heard nothing but good things about me and my job, and then he asked again if there was any way that I could be a bit quieter on my personal time. I said I did not see a need to change anything I was doing or saying on my personal time, and if anything I believed that businesses need to change and begin confronting the political pressure publicly – that things will never change here unless people and businesses stop cowering to the threats and thuggishness of a government we pay for. He laughed a bit and we parted. 
A few days later Fong handed me a letter that stated I was to be suspended for 30 days without pay, due to my “personal political positions.” The letter at the same time praised my performance as a “very loyal and committed employee.” I told Fong that I did not think his chosen course of action was right. He said it was a decision by the board of directors and himself. Because the board only had the side of an ex-convict and a vindictive administration, I decided to appeal the decision. I wrote a detailed and lengthy letter to the board, and explained that on principle alone I would not accept the suspension and I asked for a complete retraction. A few weeks later the company’s Guam-based Human Resources director contacted me and said that the board had decided to retract the suspension and to pay me in full for the time that I was off. She asked if this was acceptable. I agreed and returned to work in late November. 
In the months that followed my return to the company, Fong avoided me completely. Then, on February 14 the HR director flew in from Guam and asked to meet with me. She handed me a letter that said I was being released from employment effective that day. The letter indicated that due to the “uncertain economy”, the company was reevaluating positions, and that my position was deemed “non-essential”. She assured me that this termination had nothing to do with the earlier suspension incident. I took the letter and left the company. 
I am not advocating a boycott against my old company. There are many good people who work for the company, and I have no interest in harming them. In truth, I pity Fong and other businessmen like him who feel forced to abide by directions given from the powers that be. I think there are important lessons that can be learned from the experience. For me, the appropriate response is first, exposure. My firing is only one of many acts of political retaliation that we have seen in our community, and I encourage anyone who has been subject to that to speak out and expose this administration for what it is. There is simply no justifiable reason why anyone should be threatened with loss of employment for their personal political positions or desire for a clean government. A governor and his thugs should not have the power to oust qualified people from their jobs, or to dictate business decisions in the private sector. We can take that power away. 
People like Fitial and Blanco believe that their retaliatory actions have the power to strike fear and silence those who oppose their corrupt agendas. But they only have that power if we let them. I lost my job. So what? Life goes on. I lost respect for the people I worked for the moment they caved into this corrupt administration’s tactics, and I am more determined than ever to continue speaking my mind. 
We all need to continue speaking freely, standing up against corruption and intimidation, and pushing for clean government. Corruption harms everyone, and it hinders our economy. Change is not easy but it is absolutely essential for our community and economy to move forward. Only a concerned and active citizenry can advance that change, and that citizenry includes private businesses. We are already seeing a new generation of government and business leaders who recognize the need for change. I truly believe there is so much hope for our islands, so much worth fighting for, and so much positive change happening right now. Let’s keep up the momentum.
If Glen hasn't already contacted the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor to see if he has a case, perhaps he should.

Isn't threatening or blackmailing a private company illegal? Can a government official tell a private company that it must prevent an employee from exercising his First Amendment rights or lose business and leases? Do the government contracts with this company involve federal funds?

Shame on Johnnie Fong, president of Subway Restaurants and managing director, Coca-Cola Beverage Co. (Guam) Inc./Foremost Foods. What a horribly unethical and sleazy move.

Even though Glen shows incredible graciousness to his former employer, his employer allowed pressure from a corrupt official to unjustly terminate an employee. A better move would have been for the company to contact the USDOJ and report the blackmail. What an unethical move on the part of this business! Despite Glen's statement that he doesn't support a boycott, a company like this does not deserve business.

Glen Hunter is a hero.  Coca-Cola's loss will be another company's gain. I  imagine that numerous businesses will be asking him to join their companies. I wish Glen Hunter the very best!

You can contact Glen's former employers to tell them what you think of their disregard for First Amendment rights and defense of a corrupt governor here. Speak out against this disgusting act.

Read the letters that were sent to Glen:


October 24, 2012 Suspension Notice That admits threats from officials:

November 21, 2012 Suspension Retraction Letter

February 13, 2013 Termination Letter

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Calling Glen Hunter a hero is a stretch Wendy. Perhaps he shouldn't have been fired for his political stance but Coca Cola can fire any employee they want. Was Glen bad for business? Sure. Mr. Fong was thinking about his company and customers, not Glen Hunter dodging police at the airport or holding signs at the intersection. Read up on the old blog pragmaticplato.blogspot.com. The writer was outed by mistakenly sending Zaldy Dandan his true name. PP attacked many while hiding and tried desperately to destroy businesses with threats of boycott all due to the political stance of that business. I'm all for free speech and Glen Hunter is a dedicated activist. The good news is that he has all the time in the world to voice is opinions. BTW Glen knew this was coming but kept pushing. Maybe he wanted it.

Anonymous said...

If Glen is really thinking about his former co-worker, he must file a case against that company. Mr. Fong is as bad as the SaiTANS, caring for their business only. They are nothing but a bunch of money-making-machines, not human! Fongs did it many times with CWs, fired without cause! Try to ask and maybe observe his workers, especially the CWs, they’re so scared of the Fongs. Glen should consider EEOC. Spread this and ask for boycott of their business, people power is stronger than this sleazy businessmen. Fitial loves chinese because he knows exactly how to kill chickens!

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 7:33

You are really out there! Employers cannot and should not ever tell employees that they cannot work to stop corruption and institute reform. There is a First Amendment in this country. Employers cannot legally suspend or terminate an employee for fighting corruption and exposing illegalities in the government.

Glen Hunter is a hero because he didn't cave to his employer's threats. He is a hero for standing up to Fitial's thug squad and mafia-style bullies. He is a hero for teaching community members not to be afraid of corrupt politicians, not to be intimidated by illegal threats, and to stand up for their rights. He is helping to bring an end to corruption.

You are seriously drunk on Fitial Kool-Aid. Glen Hunter did not dodge police at the PUBLIC, international airport. The police assaulted his girlfriend, which was an illegal act. Holding protest signs is NOT illegal. It is a First Amendment right.

Mr. Fong was thinking about his wallet and perhaps his relationship with political creeps. He violated the rights of Mr. Hunter. He followed the orders of a corrupt mafia governor. I think Mr. Fong and his company are on the wrong side of the law.

Pragmatic Plato -what a great blog, whoever the author was.

BTW, the fact that Glen knew this was coming and STILL stood up to the lying, cheating, scheming corrupt governor and his allies makes him MORE of a hero.

Angelo Villagomez said...

Mr. Fong is not the government, therefore it is not possible for him to have violated Glen's rights. The first amendment refers to the government restricting your right to free speech.

It is legal for private enterprise to fire someone for exercising their free speech.

There are plenty of businesses that publicly oppose the governor. I'm sure they'd be happy to hire Glen. Maybe he can take a play out of his girlfriend's book and get a job writing for the Marianas Variety.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Wendy Doromal said...

Can a private business fire a person for expressing freedom of speech outside of work? Maybe. Is it ethical? No. Can any person participate in a protest, march or write letters to the editor. Of course! Government officials participate! Should a person be fired for that? No way!

Can a government official tell a private business to fire someone? This seems really wrong. It sounds like blackmail -"Fire Glen Hunter or lose contracts."

Is it considered whistle blowing if a person complains about a scheme between the governor and his boss trying to oust him? Probably. I think Fong is wrong! I hope there is an investigation.

I am sure Glen will find a great job. He lost his job, but kept his reputation.

Anonymous said...

We'll be watching you Fong. Don't you go hiring someone to replace Glen. Remember he was terminated coz of the economy...yeah, right!

Anonymous said...

Foremost warned Glen in the first letter and I cannot find any mention of a Government employee pressuring anyone. If influential people who support Governor Fitial said they would boycott all Foremost products unless Glen could be reigned in then that's exactly what they did and Mr. Fong heeded to his customer base. What do you expect him to do? Let Glen continue politicking every day ? Where's his focus, work or running for office? Mr. Fong is a business man who sells products to customers. He does not work for the Government and Glen Hunter was an employee. If a manager at Kingfisher Golf Course held picket signs calling for war crimes against WW2 Japanese soldiers what do you think that business would do? They would fire him in a heartbeat!

Wendy Doromal said...

11:43 Did you even read anything here?

Evidence of government employee pressuring to fire Glen:
1. "I was informed that Diego Blanco was trying to get me fired. Diego Blanco, acting on behalf of Governor Fitial, attempted to intimidate the companies that employed me with threats of a boycott and loss of government contracts because of my public statements against government corruption. He also contacted one of the company’s shareholders with these threats and asked for the full name of my boss, Johnnie Fong, because he wanted to look into him further. "

2."He said that he, and the shareholder, were both under strong pressure by the administration to do something about me due to my political stances. "

and on and on.

Where do you work? How would you feel if the governor decided YOU should be fired? Do you think anyone in the CNMI is safe? No one is when elected officials feel safe enough get involved in private business affairs and threaten and blackmail.

I hope the 80% who want Fitial impeached boycott this company!

Anonymous said...

Love all the Fitialites making excuses for revenge and nasty behavior. Fong, grow a pair!

Anonymous said...

Hold on here. Glen said he was "informed" by somebody. Who? What if that informer is lying? In fact how does anyone know any meetings took place between Glen and Mr. Fong? No one has bothered to ask Mr. Fong if he was pressured by Government employees and just because Glen Hunter says so it doesn't mean that it's true! Mr. Fong hired Glen to do a job - that would be marketing and sales to ALL customers.

Anonymous said...

Noni 12:10 i know Glen. He's no liar. Is Fong paying Glen to work 24 hours a day? If not he can stop worrying about what he's doing on his own time. In the first letter here Fong tells Glen people are threatening a boycott and he suspends him. Pretty clear to me.

Anonymous said...

first and foremost :), than you you so much for this overly kind write-up Wendy. if anyone deserves accolades it is you, for your untiring support for the fight for justice in these islands. you blazed many trials that have made our trek a much easier one.

secondly, i never told Zaldy i never told Zaldy i was plato either directly or accidentally. what i did say, and what i still say today, is that i would be very fine and happy to take credit for plato's blog. i think it was an excellent blog and it is sorely missed.

and lastly, i am not advocating a boycott on any company.

if anyone has concerns with me or my public opinion that i shared on this matter, feel free to contact me.

regards,
glen hunter
glenhunter@gmail.com
287-4765

Anonymous said...

thank you again for all that you do and have done Wendy! there is so much hope for these great islands and you are a major reason for that.

glen

Anonymous said...

I am a strong supporter of Glen and others that are against this total Island corruption.
That being said, this is not at all new to the CNMI, it just has gotten more worse under the Fitial Admin. due the increase in his hiring of convicted felons and formation of his Carolinian Mafia.

In the past on Tinian, this was attempted more than once to me.
In one particular case I awarded a subcontract with one large company. During that course, then Sen. Cing came to my office, drove directly into my warehouse (of limits to all) with a car full of people and wanted me to hire some of his people. He wanted them to be equipment operators and even had the hourly rate spelled out..
They had no experience and was not licensed to drive a heavy truck nor did not even know how to turn on or move a machine.
I told him that that would not happen as I would be endangering my men working around the excavator and others around them. Cing then threatened me with contract cancellation, he then made calls to the prime contractor along with the Tinian Mayor to Saipan with threats..
At the time I did not know that he had tried to force the same people on the prime contractor on the same project. Needless to say the prime contractor did not nor could not do anything regarding my contract.
At another time I was awarded a contract with a prime contractor from Tinian. While working there I notced and brought up two separate incidents that I noticed from the mayors people. One was the repeated dealing of drugs by the "puppy police" (Donni) with the Govt truck, across next to Humphries Apt. building accross from one of my friends house and Computer Cafe that we went to almost daily after work. My friend also got pictures of the transactions a few times) Many had noticed this and had commented on this. (Mitch Westland witnessed this many times also as he was teaching on Tinian at that time and hung out among our group periodically.
I also wrote a letter questioning why the Mayors people had tapped into the Parks water and power source and brought it across the main road to provide a Foreign owner that was operating an illegal recycling business (in conjunction with the Tinain Mayor) on CPA property with illegal free hookups.
Besides a letter of rebuttle from the puppy police that was involved with the drugs and other incidents, the main contractor received a letter and a personal visit from another Cing clan from the Mayors office at the direction of Mayor "Chandia" San Nicholas to "shut me up" or there would not be anymore municipality dealings with any of the main contractor company or his other business entities.. (I still have the letters I scanned into my computer files) I gave them to the FBI along with pictures and also reported the drug deals as did some others.(there was a couple of busts by off island cops later)
It would seem that only recently many are speaking up to the ongoing corruption as it has gotten so bad and affecting more and more in the community.
Threats of job loss, especially from people employed in the govt sector has always been a way of controlling votes and keeping people in line.
I wish Glen the best of luck and support his future endeavors. I truly hope that there is at least a suit filed to at least bring this conduct out in the open and to let Cke and other be aware of what has been going on.
Coke may want to rethink it's franchise option to the people involved. They do not want the negative notoriety.

Wendy Doromal said...

Hi Glen
I am so sorry that this happened. I mean what I said. You are a hero. I am sad that nothing has changed since the same tactics were used on us in Rota in 1994. Nothing will change until the people realize that this could happen to anyone in the CNMI and everyone takes a stand against this. There is no defense for this behavior.

It is generous of you to ask people not to boycott this sleazy company. People can do what I am doing -contacting the corporate headquarters to let them know a corrupt governor is pulling the strings at their franchise to the detriment of employees and their reputation:

Coca Cola Corporate Office
1 Coca Cola Plaza
Atlanta, Georgia

Phone 404-676-2121

Subway Corporate Office and Headquarters
325 Bic Drive
Milford, CT 06460

203-877 4281

♥ to you and Tina.


It's not your money! said...

Hi Wendy,

Even private citizens can be sued for getting someone fired, or trying to. It's a common-law civil action called tortious interference with contract. Basically, a plaintiff has to show that he had a contract or business expectancy with a third party, that the defendant(s) knew he had such a contract or expectancy, that defendant(s) intentionally interfered with that relationship knowing it would cause harm to the plaintiff, and that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result of that interference. If the 'contract' is an at-will employment relationship, the plaintiff will also have to show that the defendant(s) used improper means or methods to interfere with the plaintiff's contractual rights. In theory, Glen could sue the governor, Diego Blanco, and anyone else who was party to their cowardly, despicable scheme, and recover all his lost wages and other compensatory and punitive damages.

People who engage in such conduct need to be taught a lesson, and it's better to take them to court than to tar and feather them, much as they might deserve it.

Wendy Doromal said...

It's Not Your Money

Thank you so much for clarifying the law. I thought so. I hope Glen sues them so that an example is set and people stop this horrible practice.

I hope you are doing well! Please email me with news of your latest adventure sometime!

Anonymous said...

The voice of a new generation.

The pride of the CNMI nation.

Glen Dale Hunter for governor.

Imagine!

Anonymous said...

I am just wondering what contract does the Fongs valued much more than their integrity and reputation. Is it the supply of milk, water and bread to PSS?

Anonymous said...

Even tho Glen has done much, there is no way that it has not had any negative on his employment.

Has there been even one occasion that he was on company time but did ANY Hero work?

Has the company had ANY LOST TIME? I am sure even Glen would admit it. How could you not.

Freedom of speech and so on are every Americans rights. When I, a business owner believe or know that every minute an employee is on the clock is not being 100% directed at company business, then I have the right to terminate this employee. If an off duty employee has such a negative impact on my company due to off duty activities, I have the right to terminate this employee. Instead of being a "Hero" what if he was an outspoken member of a subversive or known terrorist organization, Nazi, etc. What if every person in the community hated him? What if every business in the community hated him? What if top ranking politicians hated him.

What would be best for my Family and business?

Wendy Doromal said...

8:31 Seriously?

Anonymous said...

ANON 8:31

I got ya, the best for your family and business is keep drinking Fitial's kool-aid, go ahead and serve yourself!!!Idiot!!!

Anonymous said...

So 8:31, this applies to the Gov and the rest of the elected. So Fitial should be fired.
OH But he has resigned (This morning) rather than be fired (impeached) as he has made other do instead of being fired has asked for their resignations.

Anonymous said...

to the anonymous commenter at 2/20 8:30am:

you have a point but your premise may be a bit off.

if i were a "nazi" in my free time or if i spent my off time hosting KKK meetings or was the leader of any type of hate group, that may be just cause for a business to fire me even if i was doing a fine job work-wise. even if it turned out not to be legal i dont think i would get any support if i complained that i was axed because of my personal affiliation with a hate group.

where i think you may be off is that i was not and am not a member of any type of hate group. i championed good government and i was and am opposed to public corruption.

did this create enemies? sure it may have. who would have been against my stance? those in favor of corruption or those that were corrupt. is it right to axe me because they were mad and wanted to boycott the company and might cut some public contracts? of course it was not right. that is what has created the storm of outrage.

some professionals are leaders of Crimestoppers. they should not be fired because the criminals that are nabbed are upset with their affiliation with that group, should they? of course not.


you are trying to find justification for firing me because i came out openly against public corruption and this upset the former governor. a former governor who has just resigned after being impeach by an overwhelming 16 representatives on 18 blatant and very well documented charges. that is not a justifiable reason, that is an example of further corruption.

no business person should ever be subjected to political pressure from elected officials to remove working class individuals because they call for clean government. more importantly, no private business person should ever cower to such pressure.

if you would like to see my full response to the initial political suspension feel free to email me and i will send it to you (glenhunter@gmail.com). i fully detail my justifications for a request of a retraction of that erroneous move. it was well received by the Executive Committee and the political suspension was fully retracted.

i was not fired for failure to perform my duties or a misuse of my time. ironically i have been only praised for my work and even in the political suspension letter i was described as loyal and committed. far from your insinuation that i may have been abusing my time or not fulfilling my job requirements.

i am so thankful that this has been exposed. it was not an easy decision for me to make but i did it for two reasons. first, to attempt to fend off a boycott and secondly in the hope that it may stop this type of abuse from continuing.

the more the we the public know the more we care.

the cnmi is a great place with so many incredible people. we are truly blessed.

regards,
glen hunter

Anonymous said...

"i was not fired for failure to perform my duties or a misuse of my time."

According to your employer you were. You do not work for the Government and Mr. Fong can fire you for any reason. You mentioned Government contracts and Foremost. Since you were head of sales, marketing and business development weren't you responsible to keep those profitable contracts healthy? As head of sales you are working 24 hours a day 7 days a week and yes Glen your political views can have a negative impact on the bottom line. The same thing happened at Miller Lite and those sales numbers are still strong. Life will go on. You should probably tone it down a bit as you are going from inspirational to annoying.

Wendy Doromal said...

3:23

You are incorrect. No employer can fire an employee for "any reason"! There are protections. Please read the comment made by "It's not your money" above. I hope Glen sues!

NO job is 24 hours 7 days a week!

Keep up your inspirational leadership and advocacy
Glenn. There is nothing annoying about truth and justice!