In the affair about alleged nepotism, embezzlement and extravagance in Rundfunk Berlin Brandenburg (RBB), the demand is now being raised that the resigned director Patricia Schlesinger must be dismissed without notice – not with a delay or any severance pay.
The station’s board of directors should “consider dismissing Ms. Schlesinger without notice,” said Jan Redmann, leader of the Brandenburg CDU parliamentary group, on Wednesday in Potsdam. Violations of RBB compliance rules also speak for this. “A golden handshake at the expense of the contributors does not seem plausible in this situation,” said Redmann. “If a cashier is fired for a embezzled deposit receipt, that must certainly apply to a prominent public representative.”
How many guests were there?
Regarding the alleged business dinners in her private home, the resigned director admitted that there had been official business and that the billing had been correct. There are doubts about this, on the one hand because the catering company is said to have been prompted to subsequently reduce the number of people served (which could mean that Schlesinger’s husband Gerhard Spörl disappeared from the list).
On the other hand, the official background of the dinner is questionable. A guest like the Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik would not have accepted the invitation or at least had to register if she had known that champagne, red and white wine and a meal would be at the expense of the contributors. The invitation, which she accepted in February of this year, was very different for the Berlin police chief, as she now says: “I was invited to the inauguration of the new apartment with friends, and that was the atmosphere and the mood. My conversations were of a purely private nature. “The fact that Patricia Schlesinger “pomp and circumstances” billed the RBB “surprised, irritated and personally disappointed”. The RBB has not yet provided any information on the details of the Schlesinger rounds.
Schlesinger is officially “on vacation”
The fact that the CDU politician Redmann calls for Schlesinger’s immediate dismissal has to do with the fact that she had a “notice period” of six months written into her contract in the event of a resignation. That would mean that she would formally be in office until the end of February 2023 or that she would be entitled to a severance payment, which Schlesinger apparently wants to negotiate with the Broadcasting Council. The farewell money could be extremely generous in view of her annual base salary, which has just increased by 16 percent to 303,000 euros, and Schlesinger was only elected last year for a second term of five years as director. She is officially “on vacation” at the moment. The Broadcasting Council is meeting next Tuesday for a special session to discuss “final questions about the termination of Patricia Schlesinger’s contract”.
The managing director of the RBB, Hagen Brandstätter, will appear at the special meeting of the main committee of the Brandenburg state parliament, which is also scheduled for next Tuesday. Intendant Schlesinger, who has since resigned, Wolf-Dieter Wolf, who has since resigned from his RBB offices, and Friederike von Kirchbach, Chair of the Broadcasting Council, had not accepted the invitation to a previous meeting. Brandstäter – who is the administrative director of the RBB – will come and answer the questions of the MPs, said the chairman of the main committee, Daniel Keller (SPD). He welcomes the fact that Brandstäter is appearing, but it is “important that Ms Schlesinger faces enlightenment in the future”. The incumbent chairwoman of the RBB board of directors, Dorette König, has also promised to come.