The state audit agency cautioned Jeon Hyun-heui, chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC), on Friday for providing inappropriate support for an official who faced disciplinary action over workplace bullying.
The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) announced the result of its 10-month-long inspection regarding 13 complaints filed last year against her.
Jeon, who was appointed by former President Moon Jae-in, has been under pressure to resign by the ruling People Power Party (PPP).
The BAI said it was "inappropriate" for Jeon to file a petition in 2021 asking for leniency for her subordinate who was disciplined by the state Appeals Commission in a workplace abuse case. It cautioned Jeon not to inflict secondary harm on the victim.
But BAI cleared her of abuse of power in connection with the ACRC's authoritative interpretation in 2020 regarding the allegations that former Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae's son received preferential treatment during his military service.
The audit agency said she intervened in the interpretation process by a relevant official. But regarding the agency's media activities and her remark at the National Assembly that the interpretation was done solely by working-level officials, the BAI said it is difficult to conclude Jeon abused her authority.
The BAI also said it was true the anti-corruption chief was often late for work in the central administrative city of Sejong, as written in the complaints. But it was hard to determine her work attitude solely by the time she arrives at her office, the BAI concluded.
The BAI's audit came as Jeon has been resisting the pressure from the PPP to resign from the post before her term ends late this month. The former lawmaker was appointed by former President Moon in June 2020. She quit the main opposition Democratic Party after the appointment. (Yonhap)