World Bulletin / News Desk
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra was stood down Thursday by the country's military government pending a corruption investigation.
The executive order, signed by junta leader-cum-Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, relieved the governor of his duties "until the completion of the corruption investigation... to assure fairness to the accused".
He continues to hold his position, but has been suspended without pay until further notice.
Paribatra and the governor's office are under investigation for the misuse of funds including 15 million baht ($433,800) to redecorate the governor's office and a New Year's light show that cost the city 39.5 million baht (more than $1.1 million).
Paribatra, who hails from the Democrat Party that has long been the party of the conservative establishment, has been governor since 2009 and was re-elected in 2013.
He has been the highest elected official in the country since a 2014 coup overthrew the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from the rival Pheu Thai Party.
During his tenure, the governor has also come under criticism for his failure to address longstanding infrastructure problems, including the mismanagement of floods and ongoing congestion and traffic issues.
Paribatra is current in Seoul on an official visit and is due to return to Bangkok on Aug. 28.