Taipei City urged to sack adviser over harassment case

POWER FIGHT::Hsu Po-yun said the accusations were a conspiracy to blacken his name and that he would not resign. He also vowed to file suit

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 1

The victim in a sex scandal yesterday urged the Taipei City Government to dismiss Hsu Po-yun (許博允) — a renowned figure in the artistic community — as city adviser after an investigation by the city’s sexual harassment prevention committee confirmed Hsu’s involvement in the incident.

The committee launched a probe into the scandal in August last year after a vocalist with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO), surnamed Weng (翁), accused Hsu, director of the New Aspect Culture Foundation, of touching her and kissing her forcefully at a private gathering.

Weng also accused the former director of the orchestra, Huang Wei-ming (黃維明), who was also at the gathering, of helping Hsu cover up the case.

Weng, accompanied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元), yesterday urged Hsu to apologize for his inappropriate behavior and called on the city government to dismiss Hsu as an unpaid adviser after the investigation confirmed his involvement in the case. The TSO is to be fined between NT$10,000 and NT$100,000 for failing to take immediate action after the incident came to light.

“I thank the committee for giving me justice with its decision, but I hope the city government will remove Hsu from his post as city adviser. Taipei does not need an adviser that is full of lies,” she said at a press conference at the Taipei City Council.

Lee cited the investigation’s report and said that Hsu’s kissing Weng on the cheeks and touching her arms and thighs against her will were acts of sexual harassment, and said the city government should place great importance on the report although Hsu has the right to file an appeal.

Lin Hui-feng (林慧芬), deputy commissioner of Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs and acting director of the TSO, said since the case may be appealed, the department will decide whether to remove Hsu from the post once the case is closed.

Hsu yesterday rejected the results of the investigation and insisted on his innocence, adding that he would not resign.

“This is a conspiracy to blacken my name, and I will not offer my resignation. I will remain in the city government to eliminate evil and fight corruption,” he said.

He accused the committee of failing to talk to the witnesses he provided during the investigation and threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against Lee.

In the wake of the scandal, the city government has decided not to renew Huang’s contract amid accusations that he tried to cover up for Hsu.

Weng has also accused Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) of pressuring her to refrain from going public with the case and to not file a complaint with the city’s sexual harassment prevention committee.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) declined to comment on the issue, saying the Department of Cultural Affairs is handling the case, as Hsu was appointed by the department as an adviser to the TSO.