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Tomigusuku Assembly members accused of wasteful spending

Date Posted: 2009-04-23

A group of ten Tomigusuku City Assembly members, all tied to the mayor’s special ‘Housei Kai’, are being investigated for using taxpayer money to purchase many unwarranted personal products.

The Citizens Inspector Committee is accusing the ten, all part of mayor Houmei Kinjo’s inside group, of wastefully spending public funds on consumer products, including machines for measuring body fat percentages, coffee servers and microwave ovens. The Committee charges that the members used as much as ¥120,000 from the city treasury to buy the goods.

“To buy these goods is against social manners,” the Committee told the mayor, “and it is not right to use our taxpayer money for private use.” The committee also said it found the Assembly members did not maintain receipts as they sought reimbursement for the personal products, “so we asked the mayor that members who bought goods should show us how they are using their budgets.”

Tomigusuku City officials say the goods were purchased in 2007, and that all Assembly members had reported the money was used to study citizens’ lives, and that since the amounts were under ¥120,000, it is “no problem at all.” The Citizens Inspection Committee has asked the mayor for explanations, saying since the money was not appropriated for purchases, “that money should be returned to citizens.” The Committee has asked Mayor Kinjo for answers before mid-May.

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