China expels official known for pricey watches

BEIJING (AP) - China says a provincial safety official notorious for his callous attitude and taste for luxury wristwatches has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and is facing corruption charges in a sign of the Internet's growing role in exposing corruption.

The Shaanxi provincial government said provincial safety inspection bureau boss Yang Dacai had been found guilty of "serious violations of discipline" while in office and was suspected of unspecified crimes.

It says he was stripped of his party membership and his case was referred to prosecutors.

Yang found unwelcome fame last year when a photo of him grinning broadly at the scene of a highway bus accident that killed 36 was posted on the Internet. That was followed by pictures of him wearing a range of expensive wristwatches.