• Directory of Taiwan

Kaohsiung buildings chief resigns following arrest of another deputy

Kaohsiung buildings chief resigns following arrest of another deputy

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) The commissioner of construction affairs in Kaohsiung has tendered his resignation following the detention of a second deputy commissioner on charges of taking bribes to approve buildings that did meet regulations. Deputy Commissioner Lee Cheng-hsien (???) was detained Wednesday, marking the second arrest at the Department of Building Affairs Deputy over the allegations. Chen Kuo-hsiung (???), who was removed from the same post in March 2014, was arrested last year and released on bail of NT$150,000 (US$4,729). On Thursday, department Commissioner Huang Chih-ming (???) tendered his resignation, admitting oversights in supervising his seconds-in-command. "With limited manpower, it is regretful that some of our staff could not resist the temptations offered by real estate developers," said Huang. An architect familiar with the department said that despite Huang's efforts to make changes, his lack of seniority gave him little influence over the department's deeply entrenched old guard. Huang, a licensed architect, said that when he was appointed to serve as commissioner two years ago, he hoped to bring reform using his experience in architecture and urban planning. However, following the merger of Kaohsiung County and Kaohsiung City in 2010 and the subsequent real estate boom, ethics within the department have buckled under the tremendously increase in workload, Huang said. The department's eight-person staff processes about 4,000 applications for building use permits a year, according to the commissioner. Investigators at the Agency against Corruption's Southern Investigation Office say that Lee and Chen turned a blind eye to irregularities while granting the permits to developers. Alleged violations included inadequate public space and illegal structures. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (??) expressed regret over the incident and instructed the city government to scrutinize all license applications processed by the two ousted deputies, according to a statement published by the city government's information bureau. (By Wang Shwu-fen and Ted Chen)

Updated : 2021-09-26 22:15 GMT+08:00