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Panel backs indictment of Seoul education chief over hiring of fired teachers

All News 17:55 August 30, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- A panel of the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO) on Monday issued an opinion in favor of indicting the chief educational official of Seoul over his suspected abuse of power in the reinstatement of fired teachers.

Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, has been under investigation by the government's independent corruption investigative body on suspicion of illegally influencing the process of reinstating five dismissed teachers, including members of a teachers' labor union, in 2018.

This undated file photo shows Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. (Yonhap)

The CIO's prosecution review committee held a meeting to be briefed on the investigation results on Cho's case before concluding that the official appears to be guilty of his charges.

The committee also said that Cho's former chief secretary, Han Man-jung, should also be indicted on charges of handling the administrative work related to the controversial reinstatement of fired teachers.

The CIO said it will soon make a final decision on Cho based on the opinions of its prosecution review committee.

The CIO has the power to prosecute only judges, prosecutors and high-ranking police officers. Thus, it must ask the prosecution to indict Cho if he is finally deemed guilty of his charges.


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