Sun, Dec 25, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP officials urged to resolve spat

CONFLICT With two party members in a war of words over allegations of interference in a construction project in Kaohsiung, a caucus whip told the pair to settle down

STAFF WRITER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) deputy legislative caucus whip Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧) yesterday appealed to two DPP government officials to resolve their dispute over a construction project in Kaohsiung County.

Conflict arose earlier this week between Kaohsiung Country Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) and the Ministry of Education's (MOE) political deputy minister Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠) over the construction of a new building at Fong Shan Junior High School in the county.

Yang claimed that Fan's husband, Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), interfered in the process for selecting an architect to design the building, and on Friday Yang asked Fan to step down.

Yang said he had received a phone call from Fan saying that the ministry would provide NT$1 million (US$30,000) in subsidies for the construction of the building if the ministry was allowed to appoint the architects.

Yang said that he had agreed to receive subsidies from the ministry but as a result, the finished building was ugly and unsatisfactory.

The principal, students and teachers at the school also thought that the building was ugly and spoiled the scenery, Yang added.

Fan held a press conference on Friday denying Yang's allegations, and insisting that she and her husband had never interfered in the process of selecting an architect for the building.

Wang said that Yang and Fan are both exceptional talents in the DPP and that she was sure they would communicate.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday that the Government Ethics Office at the Executive Yuan has begun investigating the case in cooperation with the Bureau of Investigation, and that it will announce its findings.

Hsieh added that similar accusations had been leveled in the past against Fan and her husband, but that investigations had not uncovered any illegal activities.

In order to assure the neutrality of the investigation process, Hsieh said the ethics office would head the process instead of letting the ministry conduct its own probe.

Meanwhile, the ministry said that the architect for the new school building was selected using a fair process.

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