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Illegal hiring scandal results in museum chief losing job

Illegal hiring scandal results in museum chief losing job

Posted October. 17, 2014 02:31,   


Chung Hyung-min, director of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, has been relieved of office on Wednesday owing to allegations of illegal hiring. This is the first time the director of the museum was terminated due to personal corruption scandals since its opening in 1969.

"The Board of Audit and Inspection asked the police to investigate Chung on accusations of illegally hiring curators and accordingly relieved her of her position," the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on Thursday.

According to the ministry and the audit agency, Chung is alleged to have manipulated the results of documentary screening when her students at the oriental painting department of Seoul National University applied to a public recruitment of curators for the museum in September last year. After the first allegations surfaced at the parliamentary inspection, the Board of Audit and Inspection investigated for one year and announced the result last Friday, saying, "The hiring was illegal." The audit agency requested the prosecution to probe Chung for abuse of power and obstruction of business related to the shady hiring.

Chung took office in January 2012 and her term expired in January this year, but her tenure had been extended to January 2015 owing to the opening of the museum`s Seoul branch and getting it on track. "She is denying the allegations, but according to the results of the audit probe, she has been relieved of office," a ministry official said. "Any punitive measures will be decided as per the results of the prosecution’s investigation."