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Dr Cecilia Chang, University Dean, found hanged.

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Joined: 27 May 2008
Posts: 388

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Dr Cecilia Chang, University Dean, found hanged. Reply with quote

She sat in her regular beauty salon, strikingly optimistic, eyeing in the mirror not a defendant but a woman whose fortunes would surely turn the next day.

The evidence and testimony in Federal District Court in Brooklyn had quickly mounted against her, but Cecilia Chang was convinced that once she took the stand at her corruption trial, things would change.

“She was extremely happy,” Eve Lin, her longtime hairdresser, recalled recently. “She said: ‘Tomorrow, I have a court case, and if they say I’ve done nothing wrong, then that’s it. It’s over.’ ”

As it turned out, Dr. Chang’s turn on the witness stand last month was disastrous. She was utterly unpersuasive. The jurors laughed. She won little sympathy.

Dr. Chang, a dean at St. John’s University in Queens, associated with a whirlwind of characters: Catholic priests, Chinese gangsters, American lawmakers, a Taiwanese general and a fantastically corrupt city politician, to name a few. She had been married three times. One husband, she had told several people, was involved in organized crime; another told the police before succumbing to gunshot wounds that she was behind the attack.

It was an unlikely lifestyle for anyone, let alone a dean at St. John’s, where she helped attract millions of dollars in contributions to the university from her native Taiwan. But that life, prosecutors charged in state and federal indictments, was enabled by fraud and embezzlement. Federal prosecutors accused her of forcing foreign students to perform household labor in exchange for tuition grants, stealing over $1 million from the university and taking $250,000 from a Saudi prince to organize academic conferences that never happened.

Less than 24 hours after testifying, Dr. Chang killed herself — an act of grisly determination. She started a fire in a bedroom fireplace and closed the flue. When death did not come quickly enough, she went downstairs to the kitchen and turned on the gas. For extra measure, she slit her wrists.

Stereo speaker wire was her final weapon of choice. She took a length of it back upstairs, lowered an attic ladder and hanged herself from it.

The descent from beauty-parlor optimism to suicide took less than two days. But even at her apex, Dr. Chang, 59, was a contradictory and complicated figure; a woman whose work got her name mentioned on the floor of the United States Senate in the early 1990s, and who was at the same time suspected by the police of having a role in the murder of her first husband — the father of her only child.

What goes around comes around . . .
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Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She'll be replaced with someone who only gets paid 55,000 NT per month!
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