Sun, Aug 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Chiayi mayor lays defamation charges against former health bureau director

Staff writer, with CNA

Chiayi City Government Secretary-General Lai Ming-huang presses the “Accusation Bell” at the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office as he prepares to file charges on behalf of Chiayi Mayor Tu Hsiing-jer against the city’s former Health Bureau director-general Huang Wei-min.

Photo: Wang Shan-yen, Taipei Times

Chiayi Mayor Tu Hsiing-jer (涂醒哲) on Monday pressed defamation charges against his former Health Bureau director-general Huang Wei-min (黃維民), who sent department employees an e-mail criticizing Tu earlier the same day, which was his last day of work.

Chiayi City Government Secretary-General Lai Ming-huang (賴明煌) filed the charge with the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office on behalf of Tu, on the grounds that Huang slandered Tu’s team with unfounded remarks.

According to the e-mail Huang said, he was forced to resign by Tu, who “treated him like a dog.”

Huang said in the e-mail that Tu once instructed the department to change the requirements for a vaccine it sought to procure so that the requirements would match the make of vaccines manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Tu wanted to buy from.

Lai rejected those allegations and said Huang has hurt the city government’s morale by making unfounded claims, and the city government would counter those claims with a lawsuit to defend the mayor’s reputation.

In a statement issued later on Monday, the city government said Tu had been slandered by his political rivals twice before, but had been proven innocent on both accounts.

Tu agonized over pressing a charges against Huang, a friend of his, who had a stroke while helping Tu campaign for Chiayi mayor in 2014, the statement said.

However, Huang’s e-mail had drawn the attention of prosecutors, who were eager to investigate the allegations, leaving the city government with no choice but to initiate a lawsuit, it said.

Quoting Tu, the statement said all of Huang’s accusations — particularly the insinuation that Tu sought to inappropriately benefit a pharmaceutical company — were baseless and did injustice to the city government’s work over the past 30 months.

Huang, as a political appointee, had a misinformed understanding of his responsibilities and also framed his former colleagues, who had just thrown a farewell party for him, Tu was quoted as saying.

“The city government had to press charges,” the statement quoted Tu as saying.

“Political appointees must take responsibility for their failure to push policies forward, which is why Huang was dismissed,” Tu said, adding that Huang — who formerly headed the Kaohsiung Department of Health and the Penghu Public Health Bureau — had also made slanderous remarks about his former superiors at those agencies when asked to resign.

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