Former Legion priest says he saw fiscal improprieties

Updated 23 February 2013
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Former Legion priest says he saw fiscal improprieties

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: A former priest for the Roman Catholic religious order the Legion of Christ said in sworn testimony that he witnessed financial improprieties, including the founder’s use of large amounts of cash, and believes the founder and No. 2 official gave gifts to people at the Vatican to curry favor.
Father Stephen Fichter’s (FICK’-terz) 2011 testimony was unsealed by a Rhode Island court last week. Similar allegations have been made previously, but until now, no sworn testimony has been released from Legion priests.
Fichter handled Legion finances from 1998 until 2000.
A Legion spokesman says Fichter’s testimony concerned things that happened years ago, and gifts were sometimes given for special occasions. He says there is now accountability in the order’s spending.
The order was taken over by the Vatican in 2010.


Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan worker’s pay docked for taking lunch 3 minutes early

TOKYO: A Japanese city official has been reprimanded and fined for repeatedly leaving his desk during work hours — but only for around three minutes to buy lunch.
The official, who works at the waterworks bureau in the western city of Kobe, began his designated lunch break early 26 times over the space of seven months, according to a city spokesman.
“The lunch break is from noon to 1 pm. He left his desk before the break,” the spokesman said on Thursday.
The official, 64, had half a day’s pay docked as punishment and the bosses called a news conference to apologize.
“It’s deeply regrettable that this misconduct took place. We’re sorry,” a bureau official told reporters, bowing deeply.
The worker was in violation of a public service law stating that officials have to concentrate on their jobs, according to the bureau.
The news sparked a heated debate on Japanese social media, with many defending the official.
“It’s sheer madness. It’s crazy. What about leaving your desk to smoke?” said one Twitter user.
“Is this a bad joke? Does this mean we cannot even go to the bathroom?” said another.
The city had previously suspended another official in February for a month after he had left his office numerous times to buy a ready-made lunch box during work hours.
The official was absent a total of 55 hours over six months, according to the city.