Taiwan official apologises over corruption scandal

Taiwan official apologises over corruption scandal

TAIPEI - Taoyuan County Magistrate John Wu yesterday issued an apology for the recent bribery and corruption case in which his senior county officials are embroiled. He also transferred five senior officials to different positions.

Wu's apology came three days after former Taoyuan Deputy Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen was named a suspect by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for allegedly accepting bribes from Farglory Group Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung.

Upon accepting the bribes, Yeh supposedly assisted the Farglory Group in securing a government housing project development contract.

Wu stated that he had issued an order for the county government to probe all leads concerning Yeh; there were 143 cases in all. "The Taoyuan County government will be asking prosecutors to conduct more probes soon," said Wu.

In an open conference Wu held with his senior officials yesterday, the magistrate repeatedly emphasised the pain and disappointment he felt over Yeh's actions; he had immediately decided to relieve his deputy of his position upon receiving news of his corruption case last Friday.

"I am not able to shy away from any mistakes and flaws in my county government team; I apologise sincerely to the citizens in Taoyuan and Taiwan ... Yeh has betrayed our trust and done something unforgivable," said Wu.

Five Transferred Officials

The five senior government officials Wu decided to transfer include Secretary General Cheng Ruey-cherng, Urban and Rural Development Bureau Director-General Wu Chi-ming, Land Administration Bureau Director-General Lin Hsueh-chien and Public Works Bureau Director-General Chu Ti-chih, and he asked for the Ministry of Justice to appoint another official to replace Civil Service Ethics Department head Shen Feng-liang.

Wu stressed that he would be looking for more than talent when it comes to his employees in the future. "Morals and ethics will be taken into account as well."

To disprove rumours about his inability to employ the right people, Wu stated that he would be recruiting government officials throughout the county in hopes of improving Taoyuan.

Housing Project Scrapped: Wu

Wu also announced that the affordable housing project Farglory had secured will be scrapped; the government will be proposing a new development project with a new bidding process in the future.

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