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editorials>>Scott In...Jail???

Below is an exact reprint of the news article which was created about me as a joke.

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is Scott going to Jail??
March 20 2001 at 4:54 PM

Mainichi Shimbun, Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Spendthrift Shiga mayor slammed for waste -- American exchange student defiant.

OTSU - In a stern warning to government bodies wasting taxpayers' money in red-tape ceremonies, a court decided Monday that the Shiga town mayor's distribution of 740,000 yen in gift coupons to those attending a March 7th exchange student welcome ceremony was illegal. Presiding Judge Masanori Kanki of the Otsu District Court in handing down the ruling ordered Shoji Kitamura, mayor of Shiga Town, Shiga Prefecture, to return the money to the local government coffers.

Scott, a newly-arrived American exchange student in Shiga on a work-study program, received hundreds of the coupons and has so far refused to surrender them. He has filed suit against Mayor Kitamura for "indian giving" after the town's auditor attempted to investigate how he alone came to possess so many of the coupons.

"Gift coupons (given to the attendees) were close to hard cash in nature, and there was no proper reason for the town to give them to invited guests such as Scott Brills," said Kanki. "Giving the coupons was contrary to social practices and illegal. Using these illegal coupons will be a punishable offense."

"The coupon-giving may be against common sense and may violates the Local Autonomy Law that requires local governments to cut down on expenses as much as they can, but they're essential for poor students" Scott was quoted as saying as he left a local color photocopy shop.

He heartily disagreed with Monday's ruling. "I pay my respects to the court, but must insist that a gift given can never be taken back," said Scott after hearing the ruling. He was said to be relying upon the legal advice of ex-pat Arudodebito Sugawara in his efforts to legally keep the coupons.

During a ceremony to celebrate the arrival of several dozen American exchange students on Mar. 7, Shiga Town gave a set of gift coupons worth 5,000 yen to each of the 150 attendees, including assembly members and the students themselves. It is not known how Scott accumulated so many more coupons than any of the others. The coupons are said to be usable at some 100 local shops, but counterfeits have been discovered, endangering their status as legal tender elsewhere.

During the hearings, Shiga officials explained that they had decided to give gift coupons in token of the town's appreciation to the attendees. They also reasoned that the policy might promote local business.

But a dissenting assemblyman countered their argument, saying, "It's not reasonable for the town to give coupons worth as much as 5,000 yen to foreign students who are only here to plunder our women folk and drink our beer. A better solution must be found."

Mayor Kitamura said that the town would decide what to do after studying the ruling.

Yoneko Matsuura, a leader of a citizens group monitoring local governments' use of funds, agrees with the ruling and said public officials should stop wasting money in ceremonies. She made cutting remarks about the auditor's rejection of Sunagawa's request.

"The rejection of the town auditor shows a limit of in-house financial openness," Matsuura said.

Scott has started a website to publicize his exploits in Japan -- To date, no mention of this scandal has been posted to the website.