Thursday, March 27, 2014

Putting the wrong people in charge

Well, this is certainly an interesting story about the head of the Korean Association of Hagwon (hat tip to Scott Burgeson - see his comment here):
Police are investigating allegations that Pagoda Education Group President Park Kyung-sil plotted to kill a relative of her estranged husband Go In-kyung.[...]

According to investigators, in August last year Park allegedly paid her driver to kill one of Go’s relatives who had frequently advised him on business matters.

However, the driver did not carry out the murder; and he has been questioned by police several times.[...]

Lee Jung-hwan, Park’s lawyer, denied the allegations, claiming that his client gave the driver the money to find and hire a new legal representative for business matters.

“We explained to the police that she would not be immediately available because of the upcoming election for the Korea Association of Hagwon (KAH),” Lee said.

“It also overlaps with the schedule for another legal case.”

In this case, police are investigating claims that last year Park gave 1 billion won ($926,354) to a middleman identified as Seo to allegedly bribe officers investigating her for embezzlement and breach of duty.

However, on Jan. 6 she was found guilty of the charges by Seoul Central District Court and sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years.[...]

Park has led the Korea Association of Hagwon (private learning institutes), which has more than 50,000 private institutions under its wing, since 2011.
Sounds like the kind of person you want as the national figurehead of owners of businesses that care for children (but hey, hagwon owners have to evade taxes too, right?).

Speaking of putting the wrong person in charge, the Joongang Ilbo reports on the fustercluck that the Namdaemun restoration has turned out to be.
Authorities investigating the faulty restoration of Sungnyemun, or Namdaemun Gate, said yesterday that they will further investigate Sin Eung-soo, the chief carpenter for the restoration process, over allegations he spirited away lumber donated by the public for the reconstruction of the country’s No. 1 national treasure.

Authorities estimated that the value of the stolen lumber was approximately 42 million won ($39,020).

The police raided Sin’s lumber mill in January on suspicions he supplied substandard wood for the restoration. The gate reopened last May after a five-year restoration, but some of the work was found to be rushed and substandard.

The police also suspect the 71-year-old carpenter purloined four Geumgang pine trees that were provided in 2008 by the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) for the reconstruction of Gwanghwamun, the main gate of the Gyeongbok Palace, under Sin’s supervision. Geumgang pine trees are praised for their resilience, straightness and density. The estimated value of the four pine trees is about 60 million won.
Both of these stories are surprising, and yet not really that surprising, at the same time.

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