Judge being investigated demoted to researcher

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Judge being investigated demoted to researcher


Seon Jae-sung

The Supreme Court yesterday demoted Seon Jae-sung, a senior judge at Gwangju District Court who is embroiled in allegations of cronyism and making questionable job assignments, by suspending him as a judge and sending him to the Judicial Research and Training Institute to work as a researcher.

The court said Seon will be excluded from all work as a judge and will work at the institute starting today.

“We see it is inappropriate for Seon, who is under investigation by inspectors from the National Court Administration under the Supreme Court, to keep his job as judge,” a court administration official said.

According to the court administration, an owner of a waste management firm in Naju, South Jeolla, which had gone bankrupt and has been under judicial management, recently filed an appeal to Gwangju District Court, saying “the corporate adviser sent from the court to my firm seems to be unqualified.”

The owner said the adviser had given 52 million won ($46,553) to a lawyer surnamed Gang, who is a school friend of Seon, in an attempt to be a corporate adviser because Seon was in charge of appointing a corporate adviser to a bankrupt company under court management. The owner suspected that the lawyer gave part of the money to Seon.

According to the court administration, Seon is also suspected of having employed his elder brother as an auditor of a company under court receivership. And Seon allegedly gave his former driver a corporate advisory position of a company under judicial management.

The Gwangju Prosecutors’ Office recently received an anonymous petition accusing Seon of being involved in a debt collection suit last September. The court said Seon allegedly appointed Gang as a debt collection lawyer for two companies in Gwangyang and Damyang, South Jeolla, and Gang received 500 million won for winning the debt collection lawsuit, which was much more than the companies promised to give him, damaging the financial status of the companies.

The court said it would take punitive steps against Seon if the investigation shows wrongdoing. Although most judges at the institute give lectures to new lawyers, Seon will just work as a researcher, the court said. Gwangju court said Yoon Sung-won, a senior judge in Gwangju High Court, will replace Seon.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article[중앙일보]

대법원 “선재성 부장판사 재판업무서 배제”

대법원은 법정관리인 선임 파문을 일으킨 광주지법 선재성(48·사진) 수석부장판사를 재판업무에서 배제하기로 결정했다고 7일 밝혔다. 선 수석부장은 9일자로 경기도 고양시 사법연수원으로 자리를 옮기면서 재판업무에서 배제된다.

연수원에서 강의는 하지 않고 사법연구직을 맡는 사실상 문책성 인사다. 대법원 윤리감사관실 관계자는 “감사를 진행하는 상황에서 선 수석부장이 계속 재판 업무를 수행하는 것은 바람직하지 않다고 봤다”고 밝혔다. 대법원은 감사 결과가 나오는 대로 구체적인 징계 수위를 결정할 계획이다.

광주지법 수석부장은 광주고법 윤성원 부장판사가 맡기로 했다. 박태준 법원행정처 윤리감사관 등 조사단은 지난 5일부터 이틀간 광주지법을 직접 찾아 파산부의 법정관리 업무처리 현황 등 현지조사를 마쳤다.

◆선재성 판사의 업무 관련 2건 진정=광주지검도 최근 선 수석부장의 법정관리 업무 처리와 관련한 2건의 진정서를 받고 진위를 조사하고 있다.

투서 형식으로 전달된 진정은 법정관리 기업 2곳의 옛 경영진을 상대로 한 채권추심 업무 대리인을 선임하는 과정에서 선 수석부장과 학교 동창인 강모 변호사의 유착이 의심된다는 것이다. 선 수석부장은 강 변호사가 대리인이 될 수 있도록 했고, 강 변호사는 막대한 성공 보수금을 받아 법정관리 기업에 손해를 줬다는 것이다. 이에 대해 강 변호사는 “착수금을 일부 받았지만 성공 보수는 받은 적이 없다”며 의혹을 부인했다. 선 수석부장과 변호사의 유착 의혹에 대해선 광주지방변호사회가 자체 경위 파악에 나섰다.

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