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September, 25, 2016

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'Ko's handling of teacher led to Taipei legal chief's resignation'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The resignation of Taipei's legal affairs chief was due to differences of opinion with Mayor Ko Wen-je over the handling of a case involving a junior-high school teacher fired in 2008, the ex-official's husband revealed Thursday.

Former commissioner of the city's legal affairs department Yang Fang-ling's husband Yao Lee-ming said that his wife's choice to resign hinged on Ko's decision to reinstate former Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Junior High School music teacher Hsiao Hsiao-ling.

Yao revealed during a radio interview that Yang and Ko disagreed vocally over how Hsiao's case should be handled, with the legal chief saying that Hsiao's reinstatement lacked legal basis and telling Ko repeatedly that he would need to take responsibility if he were to approve the reinstatement.

Yao said that the legal affairs department had become "a sacrificial lamb" in the process. He said that Yang had stood up to the mayor a number of times and that verbal tirades over interpersonal "annoyances" had ensued. He did not say which party had annoyed the other.

Meanwhile, Hsiao reacted to the development during a press conference, saying that Ko had started out with good intentions but had failed to follow through. Hsiao and her supporters expressed disappointment that Ko would not take action against education officials who ordered her dismissal in the first place.

The decision also prompted Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping to file a suit against the mayor for "dereliction of duty and profiteering."

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