Taipei city councilor, former aide indicted on corruption charges

08/12/2022 05:02 PM
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Independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Ying-meng (林穎孟). CNA file photo
Independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Ying-meng (林穎孟). CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) A Taipei City councilor and her former office assistant were indicted Friday for the alleged embezzlement of NT$267,219 (US$8,914) in public funds.

Independent Taipei City Councilor Lin Ying-meng (林穎孟) and Yeh Yao-chang (葉曜彰) were charged with violating the Anti-Corruption Act and the Criminal Code, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said.

Lin was elected in December 2018 and is currently one of 12 councilors representing the Da'an and Wenshan districts of Taipei. She was a member of the New Power Party from 2017 to 2020.

At the time Yeh was brought in by Lin's office on Dec. 5, 2018 as a publicly funded assistant, she had also hired a student surnamed Yang (楊) to work part-time starting on Dec. 25, 2018, and Yang worked there until Sept. 28, 2019, prosecutors said.

After Yang left, however, Lin still applied for a subsidy of NT$35,563 from the city to help cover Yang's pay for the month of October, prosecutors said.

Lin's other issue came the following year, after Yeh left his job in Lin's office and started a public relations firm on March 31, 2020.

In their indictment, prosecutors allege that Lin helped Yeh, who was her boyfriend at the time, forge documents to obtain city funds to pay the salary of his employee at his PR firm, surnamed Kuo (郭), starting in April 2020.

They said Lin registered Kuo as her assistant to put her on the city's payroll, and ended up defrauding the city of NT$231,656.

Lin and Yeh have denied the charges. Lin told prosecutors that Yang had in fact worked in her office until the end of October 2019 and that Kuo worked as an office assistant for her while also serving as her ex-boyfriend's employee.

According to regulations on allowances for elected representatives, each elected councilor in Taiwan's six big cities can hire up to eight assistants to do research on policy issues and provide services to constituents, and they can be paid up to NT$80,000 per month in public funds.

(By Lin Chung-hsun and Ko Lin)

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