Thu, Oct 18, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Cho rebuts `Next' magazine report he covered up sexual harassment claims

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday dismissed a media report that he had tried to cover up allegations of sexual harassment against a Presidential Office staffer when he served as deputy Presidential Office secretary-general.

Cho said that it was his understanding that the incident took place a long time ago and that the alleged offender had been transferred to a different position.

Cho dismissed claims that he had formed a task force to probe the allegations, adding that the matter had already been dealt with. Cho also said that he was disappointed the magazine had not contacted him for comment before printing the story.

Cho's comments came after yesterday's edition of the Chinese-language Next magazine reported that a male staff member surnamed Huang, of the Presidential Office's Third Bureau, had sexually harassed a female coworker.

The paper said that the bureau chief transferred Huang to a different position after the incident, but that Huang allegedly sexually harassed another coworker at his new position.

The paper said that the bureau chief had not acted on the allegations, and that Cho formed a task force to investigate the matter after learning that a staffer had complained to legislators. The report said that Cho had talked to the people involved, but did not punish anyone.

Cho yesterday said he was unaware of allegations that the man had sexually harassed a second coworker. He also said he had not spoken to Huang and the two women personally.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) said yesterday that the office's internal affairs department was looking into the matter and would report within a week.

Yeh emphasized that any illegal act would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

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