KOCHI – The former secretary to a member of the House of Representatives has filed an unfair dismissal suit against the lawmaker demanding 36.9 million yen in damages, sources close to the case said Tuesday.
The former state-paid secretary filed the suit against Masanori Goto, of the Democratic Party of Japan, with the Kochi District Court. He claims Goto fired him after he told Goto not to go on a bus trip he had planned to thank his supporters after the Lower House election in October 1996.
According to the petition, the former secretary — who started working with Goto in May 1996 — urged Goto to cancel the bus trip as it could be regarded as subsequent vote buying, which is prohibited under the Public Offices Election Law.
Goto ignored the advice, began to avoid the secretary and eventually fired him in January 1999, the suit said.
The Lower House member’s office said the former secretary was dismissed for legitimate reasons, such as negligence. It said the suit is totally groundless as the former secretary had accepted the dismissal.
Goto first won his House of Representatives seat in the 1990 general election under proportional representation. He is currently serving a fourth term.
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