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Payoff row boss now chairing sports body

THE former boss of a poverty charity who walked away with £230,000 after "misconduct" by its trustees is chairing a publicly funded national sports body.

Ronnie Saez, whose payoff was criticised by charity watchdogs last week, is also helping to plan for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as chairman of JudoScotland.

Calls have been made for him to step aside from the organisation, which receives £400,000 a year in public funding.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said part of his payment from the Glasgow East Regeneration Agency in 2011 was "wholly unacceptable" and constituted misconduct on the part of the trustees who approved it.

Mr Saez was awarded a £232,708 discretionary pension top-up when he retired as its chief executive in March 2011.

He argued he was entitled to the same boost to his pension as a council employee, even though he had ceased being a council employee many years earlier.

Mr Saez denied there was anything wrong in the arrangement, which took his golden goodbye to more than £500,000, despite the money being taken from charitable funds intended to relieve poverty.

Glasgow Tory councillor David Meikle said if Mr Saez did not do the "honourable" thing and give his £230,000 to JudoScotland in place of some of its public money he should stand down as chairman. "Any person who knowingly takes a massive overpayment from a charity and deprives the poorest is not fit to be a face of Glasgow 2014," he said.

A Sportscotland spokesman said: "The redundancy package is a matter for Glasgow City Council and Glasgow East Regeneration Agency. Ronnie Saez is a non-executive chair of JudoScotland and only receives a nominal fee."

Mr Saez did not respond to calls or email.

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