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Haiti gov't announces resignation of employee

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February 22, 2013 11:36 PM EST | AP

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti's National Palace says it has accepted the resignation of an employee who admitted to stealing nearly $30,000 from a Florida bank where he worked as a teller.

The departure of Karl Jean-Jeune comes after The Palm Beach Post reported this week that the aide to first lady Sophia Martelly was working for her even though he had a criminal record.

The government's announcement said Jean-Jeune's resignation was accepted Monday, the night of which the newspaper story appeared on the Internet. The article appeared in the next day's paper.

Jean-Jeune could not be reached on his cellphone Friday night.

On Wednesday he declined to comment on the newspaper story. "I have no comment on the issue as you can imagine," he said. "I have nothing to say whatsoever."

That same day, a local advocacy group, National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, called attention to the case in an open letter to President Michel Martelly urging him to send a signal that his government wanted to end impunity.

The newspaper cited a police report that said Jean-Jeune admitted to sheriff's deputies and bank executives that he stole $28,700 through cash exchanges while working at a Washington Mutual branch in Lake Worth, Florida.

The alleged theft happened when a bank employee said she suspected that Jean-Jeune had embezzled $28,700 that he had posted between May and August 2007. He stole the money from the bank with envelopes full of cash that ranged between $700 and $5,000, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said the Florida Department of Corrections lists Jean-Jeune as being on the run from a six-year probation sentence he was supposed to serve.

A judge ordered Jean-Jeune to repay the bank, the newspaper said. His probation could be terminated after 18 months if he repaid the full amount of money he admitted to stealing, the report said.