Vietnam law officer accused of abuse of power

TN News

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Authorities of Kien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta have accused a senior legal official of sexually harassing his female subordinates, and violating various regulations in management and recruitment.

The Inspection Committee of the province Party unit said Huynh Van Tam, head of the province's Civil Law Enforcement Department, was running an "office" in name only as he was the sole person making decisions, according to the results of an investigation released Monday.

It said the monopoly allowed Tam to create a slush fund of VND182 million (US$8,730) for buying military weapons illegally.

The weapons were exposed in May 2010 when a robber broke into his house and stole a handgun with 13 bullets. The thief was sentenced in January 2011 with no impacts on Tam.

Since 2008, Tam recruited 38 people for the department when they did not meet professional requirements. He put his own child to work at an office in An Bien District when he had only graduated from high school, instead of having a college or university degree.

Many female employees had filed complaints that they were harassed by Tam, who threatened to cause them troubles in work if they reported the issues.

The inspection committee has suggested that province authorities punish Tam and has asked the central government to review their appointment of Tam.

He has been asked to return the money he appropriated from the office.

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