Hsiao Teng-shih (蕭登獅), former chairman of the Chiayi Farmers’ Association and ex-fugitive, began his prison sentence yesterday morning after his arrest on Friday.
Hsiao, charged with fraud and gambling, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison in April 2006 for his involvement in professional baseball match-fixing.
Hsiao fled and Chiayi prosecutors put him on the wanted list in May 2006.
Prosecutors suspected Hsiao might have been hiding in Taipei, Hualien or Pingtung, but failed to arrest him until Friday.
Hsiao was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison in 2004 for violation of the Farmers’ Association Law (農會法). He served the term and was released on parole on July 2005.
Hsiao’s arrest could have an impact on his wife, Tsai Kuei-szu (蔡貴絲), who is running for re-election as speaker of the Chiayi City Council tomorrow.
David Horng (洪光煊), chief Prosecutor of the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office, said yesterday that Hsiao’s arrest had nothing to do with the election.
Chiayi City Council has 24 councilors. Police said some councilors had complained of being threatened by gangsters; 19 have police escorts until tomorrow’s election.
Hsiao, 56, is from a politically well-connected family, known as the Hsiao Family Clan (蕭家班). The clan used to be the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) biggest vote captains in the Chiayi area.
Hsiao Teng-shih is the younger brother of former Chiayi County Council speaker Hsiao Teng-piao (蕭登標), an independent.
Hsiao Teng-piao was blacklisted by the Chihping Anti-Gangster Program (治平專案) in 1997 — a large-scale crackdown on organized crime — for his alleged connections with local gangs.
He was also found guilty of involvement in criminal cases and had time in prison.