Seoul City Under Pressure to Step Away from Investigation

  • By Jung Ji-sup

    July 17, 2020 12:49

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government faces mounting pressure to step away from the investigation of sexual harassment claims against late Mayor Park Won-soon.

    The calls come after his accuser revealed further details that suggested the city government fostered or ignored a culture of sexual harassment and servitude in the mayor's office aided and abetted by his staff.

    The city government said earlier this week that it will set up a committee of city officials and outside experts to look into the allegations.

    A man looks at handwritten posters supporting a woman accusing late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon of sexual harassment at Seoul National Univeristy on Thursday.

    But there are doubts whether city officials can be objective and fair as, according to the new accusations, they ignored repeated complaints from his accuser and badgered her to make sure the mayor "feels good." One instance is that she was ordered to collect his undergarments when the mayor took a shower.

    There are also suspicions that city officials tipped the mayor off to her complaints or tried to dissuade her from going public.

    Others point out the limitations of having a committee with no legal authority handle such an investigation. The chief of the women's and family affairs department at City Hall, which will head the investigation committee, apparently tried to telephone the former secretary's lawyer to ask that the victim postpone her press conference until after the mayor's funeral.

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