'Smiling director' dismissed

By Yang Ruoyu Source:Global Times Published: 2012-9-21 23:35:04

A senior official in Shaanxi Province who was photographed smiling at the site of a fatal accident last month and wearing luxury watches has been dismissed from his position for serious violation of discipline, the provincial discipline watchdog said on Friday.

Yang Dacai was removed from his post as head of the Shaanxi Administration of Work Safety after being investigated, Shaanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China said in a statement on its website, and he was still under further investigation.

Yang was caught in a photo smiling at the scene of a bus accident that killed 36 people in Yan'an on August 26.

Multiple photos of him were soon posted on the Internet, showing the "smiling director" wearing at least 11 luxury watches, seven expensive belts and one pair of luxury glasses on different occasions.

Yang earlier responded to questions by saying he bought the watches using his normal income, and saying his smiling at the accident site was only meant to relieve tension at the grisly scene.

On Thursday, the provincial government rejected public calls to disclose Yang's salary, saying the information was not available to the public.

Zhu Lijia, professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times that Yang's case showed that Internet investigations, especially the efforts of Weibo users, were a good means of reining in official corruption.

"When Web users have the ability to investigate corruption information through one photo, officials have to pay attention to every action, including what they wear and their facial expressions," Zhu said.

Posted in: Society

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