Indicted Nantou County chief asks for reinstatement
Central News Agency
2014-03-10 10:57 PM
Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Nantou County Magistrate Lee Chao-ching, who is suspended from his post because of corruption allegations, applied to the Ministry of the Interior for reinstatement Monday. Lee, accompanied by supporters from the county, made the request as his backers unfurled white banners reading "reinstate the magistrate; see justice done." Deputy Interior Minister Lin Ci-ling said Lee's application was motivated by the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission's decision not to deal with the case for the time being, which Lee saw as indicating that it was not serious. The ministry will study the matter with related agencies, Lin said. On when there should be a result, Lin answered "no more than three weeks. One or two weeks should be a reasonable period of time." Lee was suspended from his job on Nov. 30, 2012 after he was taken into custody on suspicion of taking bribes on public projects. He was released on NT$20 million (US$660,000) bail on March 26, 2013, after prosecutors indicted him on corruption charges. The case is still being prosecuted. Lee previously applied to the ministry for reinstatement in late March 2013, but the ministry turned his case over to the Control Yuan for investigation and kept him suspended from his duties. The Control Yuan voted 11-1 to impeach Lee last September, and turned him over to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission under the Judicial Yuan. Lee said the commission decided to stop reviewing his case in January, convincing him to fight for his rights. He brought with him the signatures of 50,000 supporters from the county to apply for reinstatement. Contending that he is not "clinging to his post," Lee said he wanted to "continue to carry out his commitment to the county's people," and insisted that he would apply for reinstatement even if there were only one day left in his tenure. Lee began serving his second four-year term in Dec. 20, 2009. His deputy is now serving on his behalf. He said that having his case sent to the Control Yuan, the body responsible for censuring public officials and agencies, and staying suspended was unprecedented, and he complained that the process did not give him an opportunity to defend himself. "On what account can the Ministry of the Interior and Control Yuan rule on me without a trial?" he said. (By Hsieh Chia-chen and Lilian Wu)
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