A Supreme Court ruling yesterday cost Kaohsiung City Councilor Lin Wu-chung (林武忠) his seat, as the judge upheld earlier rulings that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member was guilty of corruption for helping constituents evade traffic tickets.
The judge’s ruling gave Lin an 18-month suspended jail term, fined him NT$80,000 and suspended his civic rights for two years.
The ruling is final and cannot be appealed, which means Lin will lose his councilor seat, although he has vowed to launch an extraordinary appeal.
The case stems from a promise Lin made at a taxi drivers’ banquet in December 2005 to help the cabbies “deal with” their traffic tickets.
Five taxi drivers sought Lin’s assistance and the DPP councilor went to the Kaohsiung City police traffic division to talk to officials, resulting in the drivers’ tickets — and photographs of the violations — being put into a paper shredder.
A complaint against Lin in connection with the destruction of the tickets was later filed with Kaohsiung prosecutors, who, after an investigation, indicted Lin for corruption.
Lin responded angrily to yesterday’s verdict, saying what he had done used to be “normal practice.”
“I have been involved in politics for more than 30 years and all elected representatives have provided this service to their constituents,” he said.
“I did not utter threats, nor did I pressure the police to cancel the tickets,” he said. “I am innocent of wrongdoing and will seek to file an extraordinary appeal on this case.”