Former mayor ordered to return 60 million yen

OSAKA — The Osaka District Court on Jan. 23 ordered a former mayor and four other senior city officials to return to the public coffers about 60 million yen of the 28 billion yen illicitly used to cover overtime payments.According to the ruling, the Osaka Municipal Government indiscriminately allocated payments of four to five hours of overtime to 30,000 city officials every month between June 1980 and December 1989. A local citizens’ group filed the lawsuit demanding that former Osaka Mayor Masaya Nishio and 11 other officials repay about 128 million yen of the 28 billion yen.Presiding Judge Kenji Torigoe said such an overtime allowance is not stipulated in the municipal ordinance. Dismissing the defendants’ claim that section heads kept notes on employees’ overtime work and authorized the overtime payments, Torigoe said it was hard to believe the entire municipal government consistently worked overtime for nearly a decade.According to the ruling, all 28 billion yen allowed for overtime work was paid unlawfully to about 30,000 city employees in nonmanagerial posts.