An the sixth day of the trial, in which the deposed Frankfurt mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) has to answer for accepting an advantage, the accused was rarely the subject of discussion. But a lot about the conditions at the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO), where Feldmann’s partner Zübeyde Temizel, who later became his wife, received a salary in excess of the collective agreement and a company car without any objective reason, according to the public prosecutor’s office. Feldmann’s position as mayor is said to have played a role in this.
The former HR manager of the AWO district association in Frankfurt testified before the district court on Wednesday. There were no rules according to which company cars were assigned. “Everything was possible at AWO,” said the 68-year-old trained industrial clerk. Only in very few cases was external work the reason for a company car. The management decided “by feeling” and depending on the person. “Why else was a janitor’s assistant handed a fat SUV?”
“There is no salary during parental leave”
According to the witness, who is now retired, when Zübeyde Temizel got her company car and went on maternity leave in spring 2016, he asked her to return the vehicle. Then the HR manager made a statement that was not yet included in the police interrogation protocol and which prompted Feldmann’s lawyer to ask: A few days after his request, managing director Jürgen Richter got in touch and said that Peter Feldmann had complained that his wife company car had to be returned. In the end, she kept the vehicle. The taxable pecuniary benefit was deducted from an annual special payment. “There is no salary during parental leave.”
In the classification of Zübeyde Temizel, HR manager Hannelore Richter played a decisive role, which complemented the Frankfurt management as a “special representative”. In addition to the company car, the specifications that resulted from a contract from Wiesbaden included a fixed salary of EUR 4,300 gross. “I was commissioned to ensure that the bottom line would be the same if she took over the management of the new bilingual Dostluk daycare center in Frankfurt.” That was despite a generous classification that Hannelore Richter had increased again by hand on the contract, only with a performance bonus succeded. “If you’ve been in the association for so long, you know what you have to do as a personnel manager.” However, he has not come across a comparable case in 24 years.
“It sounded like it was going to be benevolent”
Feldmann’s return agreement to the AWO, who was employed there before his election as mayor, was also discussed. “He didn’t want to quit at all,” said the HR manager. A return agreement was under discussion, which was out of the question for the AWO chairman Erich Nitzling, who has since died. “The matter was off the table for me.” He had never seen such an agreement and it was not in the file either.
The former head of the Adlerwerke day care center, where Temizel was to prepare as an intern or trainee for her future managerial position at the Dostluk day care center from September 2014, reported on several conversations with her. She once mentioned her relationship with Peter Feldmann, who advised her to apply in Wiesbaden. In this context, there was also talk of a meeting with Hannelore Richter, then managing director of the Wiesbaden district association. “It sounded like that would be graciously granted.”
Company cars and mini-jobs distributed as “candies”.
The testimonies of the six witnesses gave the impression that the welfare association in the district associations of Frankfurt and Wiesbaden had the characteristics of a candy store in which company cars and mini-jobs were distributed as “candies” without consideration, a term that is frequently heard. In addition, family and friendly relationships played an important role in recruitment.
However, one case described by the former HR manager had more than the bitter aftertaste of monetary favors. A former one-euro jobber was an acquaintance of the deputy head of the daycare center and was employed there as a caretaker’s assistant. “Although his police clearance certificate was suitable for no longer using him in daycare centers,” said the witness. Hannelore Richter’s first reaction was also to fire the man during the probationary period. A week later she changed her mind.