Backed by hundreds of supporters and a 50,000-signature petition, former Nantou County commissioner Lee Chao-ching (李朝卿) yesterday made a second application to the Ministry of the Interior to be reinstated.
Lee’s supporters traveled by bus from Nantou to rally outside the ministry in Taipei, holding banners and chanting: “We want our county commissioner back” and “We want justice” as Lee walked into the building to deliver his application and the petition.
“I am asking to be reinstated not because I am obsessed with being county commissioner, but because I have to honor my promise to Nantou County residents, and finish my term,” Lee said. “Even if there was just one day of my term left, I would do the same.”
Lee was suspended from office on Nov. 30, 2012, after being accused of corruption and detained.
He was indicted in March last year on charges of taking up to NT$31 million (US$1.06 million) in kickbacks, but released on bail the following month. He was impeached by the Control Yuan in September last year.
Lee said the fact that he did not speak out when the corruption charges first surfaced does not mean that he admitted to them.
The ministry’s rejection of his first application to be reinstated and the Control Yuan’s decision to impeach him were unreasonable and both institutions had “passed judgement on me before I have even been put on trial.”
Lee had submitted his first application to the ministry as soon as he was freed on bail last year.
Then-minister of the interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said at the time that Lee Chao-ching had met all criteria to be reinstated. However, his request was turned down.
The Nantou politician said he decided the time was right to apply to the ministry again, after the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries decided in January to halt review of his case.