Berlin’s governing mayor, Franziska Giffey, sees the affair surrounding Mitte’s district mayor, Stephan von Dassel, as evidence of official violations by the Green politician. “Based on the documents that Mr. von Dassel submitted, it cannot be ruled out that he violated his official duties as an official of the State of Berlin.” Von Dassel submitted the application for disciplinary proceedings against himself, including the documents, on Monday afternoon. “I immediately reviewed all the documents and gave them to our relevant department to take over everything necessary,” said Giffey. It is important that the case is dealt with promptly. “We will do it as thoroughly and responsibly as possible,” said the Social Democrat.
The Greens are in favor of the resignation of their district mayor in Mitte, Stephan von Dassel. The Greens faction voted for this in the district assembly (BVV) according to information from the daily mirror on Monday evening in an extraordinary meeting.
The members voted with a narrow majority to ask the district mayor from their own party to resign. Eight people voted in favor of the demand with six no votes and two abstentions, according to faction circles.
If von Dassel does not comply voluntarily, the parliamentary group wants to initiate a voting procedure. A majority of parliamentary group members voted in favor of this. The parliamentary group discussed the case for around three hours in the evening.
According to reports, the decisive factor behind the demand for his resignation was an SMS from Dassels, which suggested that the district mayor would have been willing to pay private money in order to push through his preferred candidate in a recruitment process. The case has “an insane taste,” said the faction.
The situation is particularly annoying for the Greens, because if Dassels were to withdraw, the party would lose one of its three posts in the district office. In addition to von Dassel, school councilor Stefanie Remlinger and transport councilor Almut Neumann are currently sitting in the district office, which is filled according to the strength of the factions.
However, since Ingrid Bertermann switched from the Greens to the Left parliamentary group after the last election, the party is now only entitled to two seats. The SPD will probably be awarded a second city council post for this. But even this prospect did not prevent a vote against the district mayor. “That was also a moral question, where do we stand.”
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It is not yet clear whether the district mayor will comply with the demands of his group. So far, however, von Dassel has refused to resign, according to party circles.
The party is also struggling to deal with the case further. Before the meeting of the BVV parliamentary group, the district executive of the Green Center, which was primarily occupied with supporters of Dassels, spoke out against resigning.
“We welcome the consensual approach of the district mayor and the Governing Mayor to have a possible misconduct investigated by initiating disciplinary proceedings at the Senate Chancellery in a neutral manner,” says an internal party position that is available to the Tagesspiegel. It is now “a process under service law, the test result of which we will await”. The Greens do not want to do without one of the three city council posts either, according to party circles.
On Tuesday morning, the parliamentary group announced a joint press release with the district board for noon.
Von Dassel is said to have offered an applicant a private payment in the course of a hiring process if the applicant would refrain from filing a lawsuit against the Mitte district. This is suggested by text messages from Dassels, which are available in the Tagesspiegel, as well as statements by the applicant in an interview with this newspaper.
The highly paid position of head of the control service in the district office was initially awarded to a close party confidant of Dassels. He had previously organized the election campaign for the district mayor and is also a board member of the district Greens in Mitte. However, due to the lawsuit filed by the unsuccessful competitor, he was unable to take up the post.
After the allegations became known on Twitter, Von Dassel himself stated that he had never offered any money payments. At the same time, the district mayor admitted that he had checked whether the lawsuit could be averted by paying money through the district office so that his preferred candidate could take up the post. The district mayor called this a “mistake”.
In the affair of possible influence on a recruitment process, the district mayor of Berlin-Mitte, Stephan von Dassel, wants the allegations against him to be independently investigated. For this reason, the Greens politician asked the Senate Chancellery to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him, as the German Press Agency learned from his office on Monday.
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Von Dassel hopes that the procedure will be investigated neutrally and that he will be relieved of the suspicion of a misdemeanor, it said. The procedure is “in agreement” with Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD).