Resignation is not enoughBusan Mayor Oh Keo-don resigned Thursday after he admitted that he had sexually molested a female civil servant. Another city administrator has been disgraced for sexual harassment after former South Chungcheong Gov. Ahn Hee-jung, who assaulted his secretary for years while in office.
Oh summoned the civil servant to teach him how to work his computer and made a sexual advance toward her in his office.
The victim immediately reported the case to the sexual crime office and asked him to resign. He only complied after she threatened to expose the affair to the press.
At a press conference last week, Mayor Oh said he had made “unnecessary” physical contact with the employee during a five-minute meeting. He admitted that the act was wrong and apologized to the victim while announcing his resignation.
However, he should not be excused just by leaving the office. He is said to have seated young employees on both of his sides during a group dinner. When a YouTube program accused him of sexual harassment, he even filed a damage suit for distributing slanderous false news. But many in the Busan city administration said he had it coming. The case requires a thorough investigation.
Oh and Ahn are both from the ruling Democratic Party. Oh’s mischief was committed a week before the April 15 parliamentary elections. His case would have affected the elections negatively if it had come out earlier. Oh kept a low profile over the period, suggesting the possibility of him trying to hide the affair until the elections were over.
His case must not end simply with an apology. The ruling party must investigate the case separately and take firm action to ensure gender equality in the government, in particular.
JoongAng Ilbo, April 24, Page 30