[EDITORIALS]Jobs and favoritesThe Blue House announced yesterday the results of its investigation into the controversial resignation of the former vice minister of culture and tourism, Yoo Jin-ryong. It said he was fired from his post because his competence, words and behavior were not up to the job. The firing was not a vengeful act by a presidential press secretary who wanted to influence personnel decisions but was turned down by Mr. Yoo, the Blue House said.
It also said Mr. Yoo mismanaged the budget for a newspaper distribution agency.
We think this announcement is an attempt to distract attention from the administration’s abuse of its power and influence-peddling on government personnel matters by blaming Mr. Yoo.
The Blue House claimed that it was a normal practice when the presidential press secretary asked that an Uri Party member who lost an election for a district head in Seoul be made a vice president of Arirang TV. The television station, however, was about to get rid of the post as its financial situation had worsened.
The administration said it worried about the management of a newspaper distribution agency. But the Blue House did not worry about Arirang TV’s financial situation and tried to give a job there to an Uri member.
A scandal in the newspaper distribution agency must have involved many government offices and people. Why then does the Blue House put the blame only on Mr. Yoo?
The former vice minister charged that a worker in the presidential press secretary’s office threatened to fire him because he had not agreed to their request. The Blue House said nobody threatened him, but that Mr. Yoo was not good at mediating and persuading, which were critical requirements for the post. If that was true, how did he become vice minister in the first place and earn a good reputation inside the ministry?
The administration also allegedly put pressure on Mr. Yoo concerning the presidency of the Korean Film Archive.
There have been quite a few controversies over government personnel nominations. If fair and honest recruitment and hiring practices are not followed, the morale of civil service workers will be shaken.
Suspicions about government personnel replacements should be cleared up by a thorough investigation. One done by the Blue House cannot be trusted by the public.
The National Assembly should find out the truth through a special committee or an audit.