Thai mayor accused of locking reporters in office, forcing one to take off clothes

Officials in Thailand announced an investigation into accusations that a mayor angrily locked five reporters in his office and forced workers to pull the pants off one reporter to be photographed.

If confirmed, the incident could cost Ban Phai mayor Premsak Piayura his job.

He was enraged over a front-page story and photo appearing to show him as a partner in an engagement ceremony, local media reported. Premsak is 51 and married, but Thailand's Daily News reported his partner in the ceremony was 16 or 17.

Premsak allegedly ordered staffers to strip one reporter to his underwear and take photos, as an act of revenge, the Bangkok Post reported.

The mayor reportedly let the journalist put his clothes back on five minutes later, and held all the reporters in his office for about two hours.

Premsak said he was only helping out the girl's family, and that the photo was an invasion of his privacy. He said it was a personal get-together, not an engagement ceremony.

"If the probe finds Mr. Premsak guilty of overacting by ordering his subordinates to take off a reporter’s pants, and illegally detaining other reporters, he will be removed from the post,"’ Khon Kaen governor Kamthorn Thavornsathit announced.

The investigation was set to last 15 days.

Ban Phai is roughly 250 miles northeast of the capital city, Bangkok.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.