At the end of last month, ahead of the opening of professional baseball, the KIA Tigers dismissed general manager Jang Jeong-seok for causing controversy by asking for back money in relation to player contracts.
According to reports, general manager Jang Jeong-seok discussed an extension contract with the club during the season as catcher Park Dong-won, who was traded from Kiwoom Heroes to KIA in April of last year, as a reserve free agent (FA). is known to have demanded Park Dong-won signed an FA contract with LG Twins, not KIA, and while keeping the transcript containing the remarks, he reported the first time by email to the owner of KIA, and then reported it to the Korea Professional Baseball Players Association (Athletes Association).
Jang Jeong-seok, general manager, is known to have conveyed the position to the club’s disciplinary committee, saying, “I had a close relationship with Park Dong-won since the time of the Heroes front desk, so I said it as a joke during the FA negotiations.” said that he was dismissed on the basis that it was unacceptable.
The impact of the incident is very large. KIA started the regular season without a general manager, and many baseball officials and fans as well as the KIA club were shocked. There are many legal issues related to this case, and I want to think about two major ones.
First, the legality of Park Dong-won’s recording file. It is said that general manager Jang Jeong-seok first asked for back money related to the FA contract in August 2022 and continued to ask for it. At the time, Park Dong-won thought that he had to secure evidence for these unfair contents, and it seems that he chose to record the conversation as a method.
To begin with, I believe that the recording is legal and that the provision of the recording file is also not illegal.
「Protection of Communications Secrets Act」 prohibits ‘recording of undisclosed conversations between other people’, but if one of them records while having a conversation, this is not prohibited because it is not the other person (Article 3(1)). In other words, recording between conversations does not violate the law even if it is not announced whether or not it is recorded.
If this recording file becomes known, there is a very high possibility that it will damage the honor of director Jang Jeong-seok. However, regarding the disclosure of Park Dong-won’s contents, let’s consider what the Athletes’ Association said, ‘Park Dong-won himself moved to the LG Twins, but as long as Jang Jeong-seok is there, the second and third cases can come out again, so I made it public’. It seems to be to prevent a recurrence by disclosing unfair attempts related to professional baseball player contracts. Since it is disclosed for the public interest, illegality is likely to be sculpted.
Second, what kind of charge does Jang Jeong-seok’s request fall under the current law? The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) closely investigated the report received from the KIA and commissioned it to the prosecution, and has now entered into an investigation (the Central District Prosecutor’s Office’s Major Crimes Investigation Department). Although the recorded file has not been disclosed, considering the contents reported so far, there is a possibility that it is an attempt to breach duties in accordance with the Criminal Act (Articles 355 (2), 356, and 359).
Breach of duty is established when ‘a person who handles another person’s business acquires a property benefit or causes a third person to acquire it, thereby causing damage to the person in question’, and business breach means ‘violation of business duty’ It comes into existence when you leave your office by doing so. The club will try to sign a player contract at an appropriate and reasonable price, and the general manager is in charge of the club’s work. In this situation, if the general manager asks the player to pay back money because the club will allow him to receive more money than the amount scheduled, he can be seen as violating the club’s duty to contract the player.
If you look at the fact that Jang Jeong-seok,먹튀검증 head of the team, called ‘It was a joke’ before the club’s disciplinary procedure, you may feel that this situation and discipline are unfair or unfair. If you look up the meaning in the standard Korean dictionary, it comes out as a joke or a joke. I would like to add the content of ‘words that the other person is teasing or accepting as a joke’. The word joke itself puts pressure on the other person and if it is illegal, it goes beyond the scope of a joke. As a baseball fan, I hope that a general manager never makes a ‘joke’ like this again. We express our gratitude to Park Dong-won for his courage in reporting to the KIA club and the Athletes’ Association.
Attorney Minhee Han Law Office (Judicial Research and Training Institute 44th class)