“Housing development in Daejang-dong, Gyeonggi Province is a private development project with the participation of the public sector, not a public development project. Its final decision maker was Governor of Gyeonggi Province Lee Jae-myung,” said Yeo Yeong-gug, the leader of the Justice Party. While Gov. Lee calls the recent scandal “People Power Party gate” and seeks to turn things around, Yeo said Lee should also be held accountable.
As it was revealed that former People Power Party member Kwak Sang-do’s son received five billion won on in severance pay, Lee is counterattacking by saying that asset management firm Hwacheon Daeyu was involved with the People Power Party and construction companies that conspired with the party. The Justice Party called for a thorough investigation into the severance pay issue and added that the issue of preferential treatment for the Daejang-dong development project has not moved from Lee to the People Power Party, rather it has expanded from Lee to the party.
“It is the biggest restitution of public gains since the foundation of Gojoseon,” Gov. Lee said at a press conference right after the first reporting on the issue. Lee also added that he gave instructions to specific designs to prevent any ‘dine and dash.’ Besides suspicions whose truths have not been revealed yet, he cannot deny responsibility for designing a large frame in which a few private developers earned illicit gains of hundreds of billions of won due to the lack of restrictions on dividends. This is why the Justice Party demanded his apology to the public “not because Lee was involved in the corruption case but because he was the final decision maker of the project.”
The media is reporting on the figures of Hwacheon Daeyu and those of Cheonhwa Dongin involved with each other. Lee Han-sung, the first CEO of Cheonhwa Dongin that earned over 100 billion won in dividends, was a former aide to Lee Hwa-young who is close to Gov. Lee. The real estate developer, in which the fourth and fifth owners of Cheonhwa Dongin – lawyer Nam Wook and accountant Jeong Yeong-hak – got involved, bought one-third of the land in the Daejang district in advance. If the project had not been treated as public development, a development project would not have been executed with such a speed and produced astronomical profits. At the center of the project is Yoo Dong-gyu, the head of the planning department of Seongnam Development Corporation. He is known to have been close to Gov. Lee for a long time. He has a business partnership with a lawyer surnamed Jeong who participated in the selection of a developer for the Daejang-dong project. The two were introduced by Nam Wook.
With political back-and-forth arguments alone, the public’s suspicions cannot be resolved. Gov. Lee should present a more responsible and proactive attitude to find the truths of the issue as the final decision maker of the Daejang-dong development project. That is the attitude that should be taken by a prominent presidential candidate of the ruling party.