Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday called for a thorough and quick investigation of the scandal regarding the -Xinsheng Overpass reconstruction project, urging prosecutors to uncover the truth for Taipei residents.
“The Taipei City Government has claimed no illegal acts were involved in the project, but more officials were found to be involved in the scandal. Taipei residents must be so angry that their money was used illegally, and they want to know the truth,” Su said after attending a luncheon at Taipei First Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market.
Su made the remarks after the Taiwan High Court on Tuesday ordered that two people implicated in the scandal — former Taipei City New Construction Department director Huang Hsi-hsun (黃錫薰) and an employee at Join Engineering Consultants (昭凌工程顧問公司), Lee Mei (李媺) — be returned to detention.
The prosecutors also suspected that top officials from the city government were involved in the case after they discovered that Chen Chih-sheng (陳智盛), a former section chief for the construction department, who has been detained since Sept. 8, was in possession of notes from Taipei City’s -Secretariat Office.
Taipei Secretariat Director Yang Hsi-an (楊錫安) yesterday denied giving any instructions to Chen on how to answer questions during the interrogations, adding that he would cooperate with the investigation.
Yang Shih-chin (楊石金), head of Taipei City’s Department of Government Ethics, meanwhile, refused to answer any questions regarding the case.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday reiterated his respect for the investigation, and expected the prosecutors to find out the truth.
“The case is now under the investigation, and what we can do is to be cooperative to the -prosecutors and wait for them to recover the truth,” he said.
Hau, who also attended the luncheon, chatted with Su briefly and the two shook hands before leaving the event.
The scandal has continued to have a negative impact on Hau, as a recent poll showed a decline in his support rate.
In the latest poll released by the -Chinese-language United Daily News, Hau’s support rate dropped from 46 percent in March to 41 percent. Su received a support rate of 33 percent, which has also declined, as it was 37 percent in March.
In response to the poll, Su said he would put greater effort into attracting Taipei residents’ support.
Later yesterday, the city govenment held a press conference and denied it conspired with former officials and staff on how to handle the interrogation.
The remarks came in response to local media reports which said the notes found in Chens’ residence contained instruction on what to say in response to -Xinsheng--related queries.
Chao Kuang-chung (趙光中), a division chief at Taipei City’s Secretariat, admitted that he wrote the notes and passed it to Chen on Aug. 31 during the question-and-answer session last month at the Taipei City Council, asking him to rephrase his comments on the problematic flower purchase plan of the project from “a simple negligence” to “administrative negligence.”
Chao said he wrote the notes after Taipei City Council’s Secretariat Wang Chin-te (王金德) called and gave him the advise.
Wang confirmed he advised Chao to give Chen the instructions.
“I simply wanted to save everybody time during the session, and I hoped the city government can admit its negligence. I don’t think what I did was wrong,” he said.