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Leuenberger leaves the New York Palace

26 March 2009
Leuenberger leaves the New York Palace

The general manager of the Dorchester Collection's New York Palace hotel, Niklaus Leuenberger, has left his job.

Leuenberger departed the position at the 55-storey luxury hotel on Madison Avenue on Monday 23 March, after a stint of almost three years at the property.

According to the New YorkNewsLeuenberger was asked to leave the hotel after he allegedly ordered a Catholic employee to clean his forehead of ash on Ash Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the Dorchester Collection confirmed that Leuenberger no longer worked at the New York Palace Hotel, but would not be drawn on the reasoning.

"As of Monday, March 23, Leuenberger is no longer employed by the New York Palace.

"Nigel Badminton, who was previously the resident manager at the Dorchester in London is now acting general manager at the New York Palace," she said.

Leuenberger could not be reached for comment.

According to the New York News Dorchester Collection chief executive Christopher Cowdray flew to deal with the matter in person.

"We take the well-being of our employees extremely seriously and that is why our chief executive, Mr Cowdray, went to New York in person to deal with this matter," the company said.

Catholics receive the ashes as a reminder of their own mortality on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of penance that ends on Easter.

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By Gemma Sharkey

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