Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Jason Hu avoids impeachment for pub fire

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu talks with reporters after escaping an impeachment vote by the Control Yuan yesterday.

Photo: Liao Yao-tung, Taipei Times

The Control Yuan yesterday impeached three former city government officials for a fire at a nightclub that killed nine people and injured 12 in early March, but voted against an initiative to impeach Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) for the incident.

A vote by 12 Control Yuan members did not support the initiative to impeach Hu, which had been put forward by Chao Chang-ping (趙昌平), Hung Te-hsuan (洪德旋) and Yu Teng-fang (余騰芳), who investigated the case.

The motion to impeach Hu was defeated 10-2.

However, votes on whether to impeach Huang Chong-dian (黃崇典), then-head of the Department of Urban Development, Chu Hui-lan (朱蕙蘭), then-chief of the Department of Economic Development, and Wu Ching-fang (吳青芳), then-chief of the fire department, were all overwhelmingly in favor of the motions.

The three officials all stepped down after the incident, which occurred at the ALA Pub on March 6 after a dancer accidentally set fire to the ceiling during a performance.

Speaking at a press conference after the review, Chao said they had proposed Hu’s impeachment because the city government had been negligent in its management of nightclubs.

Following the deadly blaze, the city’s fire department said the club had passed 21 safety inspections in the past five years, the most recent of which was carried out the month prior to the fire.

“When a tragedy like this happens, it’s obviously not only the dancer’s fault. Government officials must face up to the facts and shoulder the responsibility delegated to them by the people. That’s the spirit political officials should have in a democracy,” Chao said.

The three Control Yuan members in charge of the case have yet to decide if they will propose a second motion to impeach Hu, saying they would have discussions and make a decision within 10 days, the legally prescribed time limit.

Additional reporting by Staff Writer

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