Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday indicted Chiayi County Commissioner Helen Chang (張花冠), a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and her sister, Chang Ying-chi (張瑛姬), on charges of corruption, violating the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) and leaking confidential information in three separate cases.
The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office said it suspected that Helen Chang and Chang Ying-chi received more than NT$7 million (US$240,000) from their involvement in the cases.
Chang Ying-chi was a deputy secretary-general of the county’s trade and investment promotion association, a non-profit organization partly funded by the county government.
A total of 21 people, mostly contractors and university professors, were also indicted in the case.
Prosecutors said the commissioner was suspected of leaking confidential information to Chun Lung Development Co during the bidding process for the Dapumei Intelligent Industrial Park at the Dapumei Herbs Park in July last year, a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project, in exchange for helping the developer win the tender.
Prosecutors also suspected that the county government’s environmental bureau conducted more than 30 irregular public bids, which cost the county more than NT$100 million.
According to prosecutors, Chang Ying-chi and Chiu Feng-ming (邱豐銘), an official of the county government’s department of overall planning, planned more than 30 environmental projects, while several professors from various colleges are suspected of approving the projects without maintaining a neutral position as members of an evaluation process.
The professors, who are suspected of taking bribes from contractors bidding for the projects, allegedly distributed some of the money to Chang Ying-chi and Chiu.
National Open University’s professor Wu Ming-ching (吳銘圳), Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology professor Lin Jui-min (林銳敏), National Sun Yat-sen University professor Lou Jie-chiung (樓基中) and National Pingtung University of Science and Technology professor Chang Kuo-ching (張國慶) were indicted.
According to the prosecutors, the county government in May last year conducted a procurement project for garbage trucks and recycling vehicles.
The county government allegedly allowed a contractor surnamed Chen (陳) to win the project tender, after which Helen Chang allegedly received NT$1.9 million in kickbacks.
Commenting on the case, the DPP yesterday called for the judiciary to conduct a thorough investigation and not to do Helen Chang an injustice.
“We hope that the judiciary will not handle different cases with double standards and urge the investigators to do their best to seek the whole truth,” DPP spokesman Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said.
In line with the DPP’s regulations, Chang would not be reprimanded by the party yet, despite being indicted, Wang added.