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Probe Into Seoul Education Scandal Stepped Up

Posted March. 03, 2010 09:17,   


Prosecutors yesterday stepped up their probe into corruption at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, with 26 school inspectors and principals allegedly gaining promotion via manipulation of assessment records.

Prosecutors also obtained documents related to Kong Jeong-taek, former superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, to check for a connection between Kong and the irregularities. Kong underwent a probe in 2008.

“We are investigating the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education after receiving documents related to personnel irregularities of inspectors and principals from the Board of Audit and Inspection early this year,” a prosecutor said.

Bank accounts of most of the 26 education officials are being traced to see which ones used bribery to gain promotions.

The state audit agency began an inspection on personnel and organization management in November last year. It said a Seoul educational official in charge of personnel management promoted 17 people, including 15 principals and two inspectors, by manipulating job performance records for 2008 and last year.

The government watchdog also informed prosecutors that the official nominated nine vice principals for promotion to principals under dubious circumstances.

“The official made a list of candidates for promotion before an adjustment committee on job performance held a meeting,” a board official said. “To place 26 officials on the promotion list, he gave them additional points by arbitrarily creating an assessment item on creativity.”

The audit agency also identified other officials who allegedly committed personnel irregularities and is reviewing ways to punish them.