26.02.2021, Berlin: Nicolai Savaskan, Leiter des Gesundheitsamtes Neukölln, steht vor dem Gesundheitsamt. Berlins Amtsärzte wollen sich für baldige Öffnungen und lebensnahe Wege aus dem Lockdown stark machen. Foto: Jörg Carstensen/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

It’s about a pizza bill, staff management and media appearances – in the dispute over the Neukölln medical officer Nicolai Savaskan, the fronts harden in the district office. Grotesque details become known. As reported, Savaskan was also accused of having the money for ordered food reimbursed by the district treasury and after an appeal refused to repay the possibly wrongly reimbursed sum.

The house management asked the doctor to transfer the received 116.20 euros hospitality costs for pizza to the district treasury by July 14th. According to Tagesspiegel information, the medical officer did not initially do this. However, it can be heard from official circles that he is said to have transferred the sum on July 28th. Neither medical officer Savaskan nor the political leadership of the district comment on the procedure.

According to information from the Tagesspiegel, the doctor ordered pizza on a Saturday in winter for around twelve employees of the pandemic team, who regularly worked on weekends during the corona crisis. According to one employee, in the previous months, food for weekend and late shifts had been ordered from time to time, always with the blessing of the house management.

After Health Councilor Mirjam Blumenthal (SPD) took office in November 2021, pandemic-related expenses were apparently examined more closely. The food ordered caught the attention of the revision.

The district office is taking disciplinary action against the medical officer, who is said to have ignored official instructions from the responsible city councilor Blumenthal.

In fact, Savaskan publicly commented on the corona measures, which is usually the elected head of the authorities. In addition, Savaskan is accused of using the wrong tone towards employees and creating a “pressure and threat situation”. The doctor, in turn, complained about the city councilor responsible for him with similar allegations.

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In a letter to the employees in the health department dated July 29, signed by Deputy District Mayor Jochen Biedermann (Greens), an examination of Savakan’s dealings is announced and the house ban issued to the medical officer “to protect the employees” is justified. Around 160 people work in the health department. Some of them support the fact that chief Savaskan was removed, others regret the action.

Neukölln’s mayor Martin Hikel (SPD) is on parental leave, which is why his deputy Biedermann is in charge of business.