HAN SEON JONG, 51, has been appointed as the new police chief in the southern city of Busan.
The appointment comes after a string of controversies, including the arrest of a prominent critic of the ruling Park Geun-hye, who is being investigated over alleged corruption, and the disappearance of a key police officer.
In December last year, Seong-hwan was arrested on suspicion of stealing his wife’s laptop, which is believed to contain personal information on the chief.
In January, police in his hometown of Gwangju said they had arrested the chief after he refused to turn over his laptop.
However, a year later, Seok-hoon was reinstated as police chief after a police watchdog appointed by the Park administration, the Public Security Commission, recommended his reinstatement.
The commission found Seong.hwan had failed to protect the police, and was in contempt of the police chief’s order to stop all public meetings and meetings without police permission.
The Seoul-based watchdog has also called for the investigation into the incident where the chief, Kim Min-seok, allegedly punched his wife and then left the house.
The commissioner’s decision to put Seong on suspension came after the chief and police said they would file charges against each other.
“It is very disappointing that police chief Seong has been placed on suspension, but it was not done without due process,” a spokesman for the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency told the AFP news agency.
In September last year the commission called for a police investigation into Seong’s alleged abuse of power, which led to his resignation in October.
But the investigation stalled after the deputy head of the agency, a former prosecutor, resigned after the commission said his actions violated the law.
The police chief has been named as Park Geung-huk, the new leader of South Korea’s ruling party.