- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - An American detained in North Korea since May and charged with “anti-state” crimes in that country has lost his job in Ohio.

The decision to terminate 56-year-old Jeff Fowle from his job with the city of Moraine was effective Thursday and includes more than $70,000 in severance pay and the ability to be reinstated, the Dayton Daily News (https://bit.ly/1uOkMkO ) reported.

Fowle is one of three U.S. citizens being held by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Fowle was arrested in May and is suspected of leaving a Bible at a sailor’s club. He is awaiting trial.

Moraine City Manager David Hicks wrote in a Sept. 16 letter that the city had hoped the action wouldn’t be necessary, but he added that “we have to act in the best interests of the city of Moraine and its residents.” Hicks didn’t immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Fowle’s attorney, Tim Tepe, told the newspaper the Dayton suburb’s decision was not surprising.



“The city of Moraine has bent over backwards on behalf of Jeff and his family,” said Tepe, who received a copy of the letter this week. “They were obviously in a position where they had to do something, and the family understands that. There are certainly no hard feelings.”

Fowle worked in the city’s streets department, and his wife and children have been struggling to get by financially without him, Tepe has said.

North Korea is not accepting American offers to send a high-level envoy to seek the release of the three Americans, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.

___

Information from: Dayton Daily News, https://www.daytondailynews.com

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