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Talk of the Day: Taoyuan's former deputy magistrate under corruption probe

2014/06/01 18:55:48

The news about former college dean Tsai Ren-hui allegedly passing a bribe of NT$16 million (US$532,561) to Taoyuan County Magistrate Yeh Shih-wen on behalf of a construction business tycoon was splashed the front pages of many local newspapers Sunday as prosecutors took Yeh and Tsai into custody.

The following are excerpts from leading local newspapers' overage of the scandal:

United Daily News:

Yeh had been under the eye of the interior ministry's Department of Civil Service Ethics for a long time because of his alleged lack of personal integrity and his habit of "joining banquets" but had walked away from previous investigations, according to an official of the Agency Against Corruption.

A senior public official with 41 years of service, Yeh was working at the Construction and Planning Agency in positions where he was responsible for hiring people, the official said. It is alleged that he tended to hire his former colleagues from the administrations of national parks, the official said.

A Taoyuan County councilor, who asked not to be named, said the county government should have launched an investigation when Yeh rented a grand mansion in downtown Taoyuan City and applied for housing subsidy.

The house had a market value of more than NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) at the time, hardly an affordable residence for a county official, the councilor said.

Yeh had planned to retire in July last year from his post of director general of the Construction and Planning Agency but decided instead to go in June 2013 and was appointed deputy magistrate of Taoyuan County a month later, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Taoyuan Magistrate Wu Chih-yang later assigned Yeh to public projects like the Taoyuan Aerotropolis and the upgrading of Taoyuan County to a special municipality, the source said. (June 1, 2014)

China Times:

It came as shock to many of Tsai's acquaintances when he was detained by prosecutors, because he is known as a gentle person who has contributed significantly to Taiwan's research on green building, according to a professor in the department of construction at a university in northern Taiwan.

Tsai, a former dean of the College of Design at National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT), played a principal role in NTUT's achievement of ranking No. 1 in Taiwan for three consecutive years on the list of global green universities, said NTUT Secretary General Thomas Yang.

Tsai encouraged his students to plant seasonal vegetables and fruits on the school campus and to make organic fertilizers from kitchen waste. (June 1, 2014)

(By Jeffrey Wu)

Related stories:
●June 1: Taoyuan county chief in high gear for corruption scandal probe
●May 31: Talk of the day -- Corruption case in Taoyuan government could hamper magistrate