Nearly a year has passed since the singer and actor Sulli, who suffered from malicious comments, was found dead and left the nation in shock. At the time, it was revealed that the fire department officials leaked Sulli's death report through messenger chat rooms.
The Gyeonggi Fire and Disaster Headquarters, which promised to strictly reprimand the individuals with a public apology, did not even take disciplinary action against those involved.
Representative Kim Young Bae of the Democratic Party of Korea of the National Assembly's Public Administration and Security Committee, held a disciplinary committee in March and decided not to take disciplinary action against two of the three fire officials who leaked Sulli's death reports, saying there was no reason to dispose of it.
Disciplinary action was taken only against one person and ended with only a light rebuke. Last year, when fierce criticism arose over the report's leak, the Gyeonggi Fire and Disaster Headquarters stated they were humiliated and disappointed. They claimed they were investigating the insider who leaked the document and will sternly reprimand him if the facts are confirmed.
In particular, a reprimanded official, identified only by his surname Mr. K, leaked the report of Sulli's death to a group chat room of his high school alumni on October 14 last year. He then deleted the chat room to hide the controversy. The report, which includes the location and circumstances of Sulli's death, spread rapidly on social networking services. According to the transcripted reports of the disciplinary committee at the time, a member of the committee said, "We should punish the individual as an example to others," but the fire department's supervisor who was in charge of the disciplinary committee, replied, "The punishment should be carried out fairly, but the staff should be comforted and properly guided."
According to the reports about the meeting scenario written by the Seongnam Fire Station prior to the disciplinary committee, it is clear that the meeting was held with light punishment or disciplinary exemption in mind from the start.
In a scenario drawn up for a smooth meeting, the fire department suggested disciplinary action against Mr.K, saying that disciplinary action is required. However, the two other individuals involved were exempted from disciplinary action. They stated the nature of their misconduct is different from that of Mr. K because they have confessed to their actions right away and were relieved of their posts immediately after the incident.
This did not just occur in the fire department. The Gyeonggi Southern Police Agency, which was in charge of the investigation at the time, also leaked internal documents related to Sulli's death. However, the police were found to have neither booked nor disciplined anyone for their actions. At the time, the southern Gyeonggi provincial government found through internal inspections that two public relations officials delivered an internal report on Sulli's death to reporters. However, the southern Gyeonggi provincial government did not refer them to the disciplinary committee for reasons that they were related to their works. In the end, the internal investigation ended without properly identifying the route where the documents were leaked. A police official said, "There was a limit to the investigation as the application for the warrant was rejected, and there was no disciplinary action against the individuals who leaked information. However, human resources took action in the respective departments."
Rep. Kim Young Bae stated, "As public interest disappeared, both the police and fire-fighting agencies let things slide. We will propose a revision, including the establishment of a clause in the Police and Fire Service Act to punish the leakage of official documents, to prevent continuous leakage of confidential information by public officials."