Civil servants suffer for sins of their colleagues

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Civil servants suffer for sins of their colleagues

Nearly 100 civil servants from the Economy, Maritime and Fisheries Bureau in Yeosu, South Jeolla, are being sent to three days of drunk driving prevention classes next week by the city mayor because one of their colleagues was driving around inebriated.

Ju Cheol-hyeon, mayor of Yeosu, was department head of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office and the head of Gwangju District Prosecutors’ Office before being elected mayor in June 2014. Ju announced last month that he wanted to put an end to crimes and misdemeanors by public officials.

Ju said promotions will be restricted to anyone involved in a crime - and the whole department of the erring official will be subject to joint liability.

The Yeosu city government said Wednesday that a 56-year-old civil servant from the Economy, Maritime and Fisheries Bureau crashed into a parked car Monday at around 8 p.m. in Sinwol-dong, Yeosu. The police said the official’s breath smelled of booze. They made four attempts to confirm whether the civil servant was drunk, but the suspect reportedly refused to cooperate.

The city government concluded that the official had been driving while drunk, which he had a past conviction for as well. The official will soon face disciplinary action, and in the meantime he will be assigned to a car park, to either regulate street vendors or work as a street sweeper.

Meanwhile, the head of that official’s division will have points deducted from his performance ratings. Other civil servants in the same division will also have points deducted, and will be ineligible to be selected as outstanding public officials.

On top of this, 90 officials from the Economy, Maritime and Fisheries Bureau will have to attend drunk driving prevention classes for four days next week. The classes will be held after work and last for an hour.

A 37-year-old official at the Tourism, Culture and Education Bureau of Yeosu, was convicted of hitting a police officer on the head Tuesday at around 11.30 p.m. near Yeomun Police Station.

According to the police report, the official was drunk and refused to pay a taxi fare. The taxi driver drove to the police station and the passenger ended up hitting a police officer.

Around 90 of his colleagues are now facing disciplinary action.

BY KIM HO [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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