A court has ruled that it was lawful to discipline a naval officer for having an affair with a subordinate’s wife. The officer argued that the discipline was unfair as the behavior was not related to the performance of his official duties, but it was not accepted.
According to a legal report on the 26th, the Daegu District Court’s 메이저놀이터Second Administrative Division (Presiding Judge Shin Heon-seok) ruled that the plaintiff, a naval commander, lost his case against the commander of a naval airline.
The court ruled that “it is appropriate to view Mr. A’s misconduct as a disciplinary reason for violating the duty to maintain decency.”
Mr. A first became acquainted with Ms. B, the wife of a Marine captain, after meeting her at their child’s preschool sports day. Over the course of a year, Mr. A and Ms. B developed a mutual attraction and began corresponding and engaging in an inappropriate relationship.
About two months later, they had sex at a hotel. The affair also involved sex in the quarters of Ms. B’s husband, a captain.
The Navy suspended Mr. A for two months for violating his duty to maintain decency.
Mr. A disagreed and went to court, arguing that in order for an official’s private life to be grounds for discipline, it must be directly related to the performance of official duties or be likely to undermine the social evaluation of the official, and his behavior did not fall into this category.
However, the court did not accept Mr. A’s argument. “Mr. A’s misconduct was not only known to the members of his unit, but also to the family members of his affair partner and was publicized,” the court explained.
“As Ms. B is the wife of a Marine Corps officer located at the same place as the Pohang Naval Base where Mr. A worked, it is difficult to see that (Mr. A’s) misconduct was not related to the performance of his official duties, as the Pohang Naval Unit and the Pohang Marine Corps Unit conduct joint flag exercises, etc.” the court noted.
The court also pointed out that “according to the regulations of the Ministry of Personnel and Innovation, a violation of the duty to maintain the dignity of a public servant is a reason for discipline even if it is not related to the performance of official duties, because it is a violation of the duty to maintain the dignity of a public servant regardless of the inside or outside of the job.”
The court concluded that “Mr. A’s claim is without merit as the act of having an affair is an act that may undermine the social evaluation of a public servant, and the Ministry of National Defense Order specifies the act of having an affair as one of the types of misconduct that violates the duty to maintain decency.”
The ball was passed to the Daegu High Court. Mr. A has filed an appeal against the first instance decision. The first hearing date for the second trial will be held in the middle of next month.