Chinese state media say former President Hu Jintao's top aide is under investigation for disciplinary violations.

The official Xinhua News Agency announced the investigation against Ling Jihua, who once served as head of the Communist Party's general office, in a one-line statement without further details.

Ling's former position is comparable in U.S. politics to the president's chief of staff.

Ling became a household name in 2012 when his son crashed a Ferrari in Beijing with two nude or half-dressed women, according to various reports. Ling Jihua was accused of covering up the scandal.

He had appeared destined for a seat in the party's Politburo in late 2012, but instead was removed from the top leadership when named head of the United Front Work Department.