Sichuan province's disciplinary watchdog has expelled a leading official in the city of Ya'an from the Communist Party of China for abusing his power to seek benefits for others and for receiving hefty bribes and gift money.
The Sichuan provincial discipline inspection commission has also dismissed Pu Zhong, the city's former executive mayor.
As Pu has seriously violated discipline and law, he has been arrested and will stand trial, according to the watchdog, which started probing Pu, 45, in November of last year.
The watchdog started probing Pu at the same time as they opened the case of Xu Mengjia, former Party chief of Ya'an.
Xu, 57, was dismissed from his post as the city's Party chief for serious discipline violations. Expelled from the CPC and the public service in June, he stood trial in Dazhou in Sichuan in September.
He was accused of receiving more than 5 million yuan (S$1.06 million) in cash and shares, together with his brother, from the chairmen of three companies, causing direct economic losses of more than 100 million yuan in State funds during a transfer of landuse rights as well as construction and tourism development projects.
"Pu Zhong was a protege of Xu Mengjia. After Xu worked as the city's Party chief in 2005, he promoted Pu from deputy Party chief of the city's Yucheng district to the city's executive mayor one step after another," said one of Pu's colleagues in the Ya'an government who asked for anonymity.
Although Sichuan's discipline watchdog did not reveal the details of Pu's serious discipline and legal violations, the colleague believed the probe might have something to do with the 879 steps built in the scenic Jinfeng Mountain in the city.
The initial investment for the project was estimated to be 10 million yuan. But 20 million yuan eventually found its way into it, the colleague said.
He believed the downfall of Pu and Xu started with the investigation of Cai Zhong, former Party chief of Yingjing, a county under Ya'an administration.
In September of last year, Sichuan's discipline watchdog started probing Cai, the protege of Xu and Pu.
In July 2012, Cai bought 10 villas from a real estate company for 3.6 million yuan per villa. After interior decoration, the villas were used as office buildings for 13 Party and government departments.
He was also found to have received hefty bribes. In September, he was expelled from the Party.