Prosecutors said Sunday they have sought an arrest warrant for a college professor on allegations that he dropped out of last year's election for Seoul's education chief in return for money.
Park Myoung-gee, a professor at Seoul National University of Education, has been questioned since Friday over suspicions that he received 130 million won (US$120,147) from his then-rival, Kwak No-hyun, now the superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.
Park was suspected of receiving the money from a close aide of Kwak early this year in exchange for dropping out of the election last year, according to officials at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.
Kwak said he plans to hold a press conference later Sunday to explain his stance.
The investigation into Park followed Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon's resignation last week after he failed to win a city referendum on free school lunches.
Kwak, a member of the liberal Democratic Party, was elected with a pledge to provide free school meals to all elementary and middle school students.
Despite fierce opposition from Oh, who was wary of populist welfare policy and supported free lunches only for students from low-income households, the opposition-dominated city council started the free-lunch program early this year, prompting the mayor to call the referendum.
Free school meals for all students got a boost as the poll was declared invalid with insufficient voter turnout.
Opposition parties have denounced the prosecution's probe against Park, calling it a retaliation against Kwak, a liberal who has often stood up against the conservative government of President Lee Myung-bak.