The Keelung District Court yesterday sentenced Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung (張通榮) to one year and eight months in prison suspended for five years for influence-peddling.
The court also fined Chang NT$2 million (US$66,780) and ordered him to do 200 hours of community service. The ruling can still be appealed.
Chang was found guilty of using his position to pressure police officers in the city to ignore a drunk driving case. The case dates back to September last year, when Chang, on the pretext of serving his constituents, pressured officers at the Anle Precinct into releasing a drunk woman surnamed Liao (廖), who assaulted and injured a policewoman.
The police were ready to hand Liao’s case to prosecutors, when Chang appeared at the police station and demanded that the woman be released, even pounding a table and threatening to transfer those who dared disobey him.
Liao was released.
For their roles in releasing Liao, the court yesterday sentenced Anle Precinct chief Lin Huang-sheng (林煌盛) to two years in prison suspended for five years, and police officer Liao Hsiang-chuan (廖祥銓) to six months in prison.
The woman who was charged with obstruction of justice and assaulting an officer was sentenced to six months, which may be commuted to a fine of NT$1,000 per day, the ruling said.
Chang released a statement through the city government’s spokesperson, Li Liang (李梁), saying he regrets the ruling and wants to apologize to Keelung residents.
He will strive to prove his innocence, the statement added.