The head of the US' Securities and Exchange Commission met privately with the Xerox Corp chairman in December while the SEC was investigating the office-equipment maker for alleged accounting fraud, a company spokeswoman said Saturday. \nDisclosure of SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt's meeting with the Xerox chief follows public criticism of his April meeting with the head of accounting firm KPMG -- whose audits of Xerox are being investigated by the SEC and which Pitt represented as a private securities lawyer. \nSEC spokeswoman Christi Harlan, who declined comment on the meeting, said Pitt "has done nothing to breach his ethics requirements." \nThe government watchdog group Common Cause recently called on Pitt to resign, citing what it called "a pattern of actual and apparent conflict of interest ... [that] undermines citizen and investor confidence." \nIt would be very unusual, and generally considered improper, for an SEC chairman, who is the government's top securities regulator, to discuss a pending investigation with an executive of the company involved. \nAs a prominent attorney before President George W. Bush named him to head the SEC last spring, Pitt represented major Wall Street brokerage companies, the New York Stock Exchange, all Big Five accounting firms, including KPMG and Arther Andersen LLP, and British insurer Lloyd's of London. \nThe SEC sued Xerox last month in federal court, alleging that the blue chip company used a variety of what the government called "accounting tricks" and "accounting opportunities" to boost earnings by some US$1.5 billion and hide its true performance from investors. \nXerox agreed to pay a US$10 million civil penalty -- the biggest ever for alleged financial fraud by a publicly traded company -- and to revise financial statements back to 1997 to settle the SEC's allegations of accounting fraud by the world's largest copier company. Xerox, based in Stamford, Connecutict, neither admitted to nor denied wrongdoing in the settlement. \nPitt met on Dec. 7 with Xerox Chairman and Chief Executive Anne Mulcahy, at Mulcahy's request, Xerox spokeswoman Christa Carone said. Carone, who declined further comment, was confirming a report in Saturday's Washington Post. \nThe Post, citing unnamed sources, also said that Pitt agreed to the meeting against the advice of an SEC attorney. SEC staff told Mulcahy before the meeting that the agency's investigation of Xerox was off limits as a topic, but Mulcahy raised it anyway and Pitt listened to her but did not respond, according to the report. \nStephen Cutler, the SEC's enforcement director, told the Post that Pitt had supported an enforcement action against Xerox that was stronger than what agency attorneys first recommended. \nIn a recent letter to lawmakers who asked him for information about his meeting with KPMG's chairman and chief executive officer, Pitt said he has met with many company officials as part of his job but that he has always adhered to ethics rules. \nPitt said he did nothing improper in the brief meeting with Eugene O'Kelly on April 26 and did not discuss Xerox or any enforcement matters. He also promised to act to avoid any appearance of impropriety in the future. \nLast week, O'Kelly appeared to have backed off his earlier statements, telling the lawmakers he did not mention by name the SEC's investigation of Xerox in his meeting with Pitt. \nO'Kelly was more forceful in an e-mail sent recently to KPMG's employees, saying he discussed with Pitt the agency's investigation of the Xerox audits and said he told the SEC chairman that the agency should not take any action. His version of events conflicted with Pitt's.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted