President’s butler resigns due to ‘personal career planning’

TAIPEI, Taiwan, The China Post Staff

President Chen Shui-bian’s butler has tendered his resignation in the wake of a scandal involving a close aide to the first lady, according to reports.

Chen Huei-yu, butler of the Yushan Presidential Residence, is quitting his job reportedly due to “personal career planning” reasons. It is unclear for how long Chen will remain in his job as President Chen hopes the butler will stay until a replacement is found. Chen had expressed his wish to leave prior to the March 20 presidential election but had decided to postpone his plan due to lingering post-election feuds, the China Times Express reported. The newspaper quoted unidentified sources as saying that Chen’s resignation has nothing to do with allegations against Lo-Shih Li-yun, a close aide to first lady Wu Shu-chen who has recently received a barrage of attacks for allegedly abusing government resources. It is speculated that the accusations against the aide, better known as Mrs. Lo, surfaced in the media due to a discord between Mrs. Lo and Chen. It was also reported that the first lady usually consulted Mrs. Lo alone, resulting in a poor coordination between the two aides.

But the paper quoted “high-ranking officials” from the Presidential Office as saying that Chen, a long-time confidant to President Chen, would not do such things to harm the first family. The officials suspected that the allegations were exposed by other secret service agents who are jealous of agent Chen Chih-won, who reportedly was offered extra money by Mrs. Lo to do her household chores. Agent Chen, who would face disciplinary punishment for moonlighting, has denied receiving regular payments from Mrs. Lo. He maintained that he only received some money from her to buy “cold drinks.” The agent, who reportedly is favored by Mrs. Lo, may have squabbled with his colleagues while doing the additional work for her. Those who were upset at agent Chen may have contacted the media in an act of revenge, the paper quoted unnamed sources as saying. Mrs. Lo resigned from her position as a contracted secretary for the Presidential Office in the wake of the scandal. But she denied the allegations of bossing agent Chen around to clean her house and water her garden, or riding presidential vehicles to work.