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Taiwan Control Yuan again fails to impeach Keelung Mayor

Taiwan Control Yuan again fails to impeach Keelung Mayor

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The nation’s top government watchdog, the Control Yuan, failed to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung for a second time Tuesday for his involvement in an influence-peddling scandal.
The ruling Kuomintang politician received a prison sentence of twenty months suspended for five years last July 26 for using his influence to get a suspect in a drunk driving case freed.
A first attempt by the Control Yuan to impeach him last July 5 failed when some members argued they should wait for a verdict from the court before dealing with his case.
Because each investigation has to be ruled on by at least nine Control Yuan members who have not handled the same case before, and only seven are now left who have not reviewed Chang’s case, it will be impossible for the watchdog to hold a third vote on the same topic, reports said.
The Keelung District Court also sentenced the mayor to pay a fine of NT$2 million (US$66,800) and perform 200 hours of labor service. He later announced he was appealing the sentence.
Chang was out of the country Tuesday, but a spokesman said he would respect the decision of the Control Yuan.
The incident at the root of the Keelung mayor’s legal troubles took place September 14 last year. A woman surnamed Liao had double-parked her car outside a restaurant in the harbor city.
When a policeman asked her to drive off, he reportedly smelled alcohol on her and asked a woman colleague to bring a breathalyzer. However, Liao pushed them, reports said. She slapped the female police officer before being taken away in handcuffs.
Liao’s daughter came to the police precinct and contacted a Keelung city councilor when she found out her mother would have to be referred to prosecutors, reports said.
When Chang heard of the matter, he also visited the police precinct, where he hit a table with his fist and ordered police to release Liao unless they wanted to be transferred out of the city, reports said.
The two police officers who let her go received suspended sentences of two years and six months respectively because they did so clearly knowing she had used violence against their fellow officer, the Keelung District Court ruled last month. Liao was sentenced to six months for slapping the woman officer.
Chang was suspended for three months by the KMT.
His legal troubles were expected to have an impact on mayoral and council elections scheduled for December 2014. Former Cabinet spokesman Philip Yang and presidential deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang have been named as likely KMT candidates for mayor of Keelung.
The Control Yuan has in the past been criticized for “swatting flies but not daring to hit tigers,” while calls for its abolition were likely to rise after its second failure to discipline Chang, reports said.