Taipei Deputy Mayor Samuel Wu (吳秀光) offered his resignation yesterday in response to allegations that he had accepted bribes from an arms dealing company.
Wu said that the more than NT$1 million (US$32,000) he received from Lai Fu Trading Co between 2005 and 2006 was a consulting fee for his work on a research project for the company, but said he would leave his position because media reports on the matter had damaged the Taipei City Government’s reputation.
“I don’t think my behavior was illegal, but the groundless media reports have already had a negative impact on the city government’s image and shifted the focus of the issue. I therefore offered my resignation this morning,” Wu said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.
Wu announced his resignation one day after a Next Magazine report accused him of taking bribes from Lai Fu Trading Co and failing to avoid a conflict of interest as a former official in the city government under former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
The report said the company won a bid to become a contractor for the construction of the city’s Neihu MRT line in 2003. It accused Wu of continuing to take money from the company after assuming office as deputy mayor in 2006.
Wu said on Wednesday that he did accept money from the company, but argued that he received the money as a consulting fee for his expertise on national security and the military and for conducting research.
Wu said he stopped taking the NT$90,000 monthly fee after the project was completed in June 2006.
Wu took up the position of deputy mayor in December that year.
Wu defended his actions, arguing that the consulting fee was not a bribe because he was a professor at Shih Hsin University at the time and did not hold any government position. His former position as deputy director of Ma’s New Taiwanese Foundation between 2004 and 2006 drew criticism from the pan-green camp, which speculated that Wu may have been passing the money on to Ma.
Wu dismissed the allegations again yesterday and said he would cooperate with investigators until the justice system proved his innocence.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday he respected Wu’s decision and that he believed in Wu’s integrity and innocence.
“I regret his decision to leave the position, but I think it’s also a responsible move,” Hau said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.
Hau said the Taipei City Government Ethics Department was investigating the case, adding that he believed nothing illegal had taken place.
Wu filed a defamation lawsuit against Next Magazine on Wednesday.
As one of Ma’s top aides, Wu was director of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission between 1999 and 2003 and served as the director of the city’s Civil Affairs Department from 2003 to 2004.
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