Wed, Dec 20, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Presidential Office aide Kuo Wen-pin receives a demerit

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office yesterday issued a demerit to a presidential aide who allegedly visited a guesthouse in the company of female escorts, pending the merit commission's approval.

A statement issued by the Presidential Office said that Kuo Wen-pin (郭文彬) had offered a clear and detailed account of the incident to the Internal Affairs Department and had apologized for his conduct.

"We recognize his courage in admitting his mistake and taking responsibility for it," the statement said. "However, as a member of the Presidential Office staff, he should have exercised more caution and self discipline."

The Presidential Office's internal affairs department, which wrapped up the investigation into the allegations yesterday, requested severe punishment for Kuo and recommended he receive a demerit.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山), who listened to the department's report, approved the recommended punishment, which will now proceed to the Presidential Office's Merit Commission for ratification.

Kuo yesterday kept a low profile, declining to offer any more details about his misconduct.

"I'm under investigation," he said.

When asked by reporters whether he was under a lot of pressure, he replied "no."

Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) on Monday said the office had taken the allegations very seriously and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had requested a speedy investigation into the matter.

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