Ex-Seoul education chief indicted

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Ex-Seoul education chief indicted

A chain of bribery brought to light by a bar fight has finally led to the indictment of Seoul’s former education superintendent yesterday.

Kong Jung-tack will face criminal charges of pocketing nearly 150 million won ($134,000) in bribes from his subordinates in exchange for promotions.

Kong has denied the allegations. A trial date has yet to be set.

Investigating prosecutors said Kong received 59 million won from two of his close aides in the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education in return for assigning them key posts.

In addition, prosecutors said yesterday they found proof that Kong received another 90 million won from 10 Seoul education officials. The money was meant to help him pay back his 2.85 billion won election campaign fee, as ordered by the Supreme Court.

Kong was forced to resign last October, after he was convicted of violating a law governing campaign funds during the July 2008 election.

Kong is the second Seoul Education Office chief to be indicted on criminal charges. In 1988 Choi Yeol-gon was convicted of taking 85 million won in bribes from officials at a private school foundation. He was sentenced to prison.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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