ROTTERDAM – On the Rotterdam city hall has been committed for years on a large scale fraud. Drank, equipment and smoking articles have been pushed back,, say multiple sources at Radio Rijnmond. It would also councilors and former mayor Peper gave private parties, where church personnel were deployed at, at the expense of the town hall. Mayor Opstelten confirms that three employees have been suspended.

The fraud took place spread through almost the entire town hall, say the sources told Radio Rijnmond. Both the top of the church as the lower staff was guilty mind.

"There alcohol was pressed backwards. There computers were taken. If the security asked "what are you doing with those devices' than it was by the person said that they were repaired." (anonymous source, Radio Rijnmond, 24-09-1999)

Hall Rotterdam, Wikipedia

Drank, cigarettes, expensive Cuban cigars. They all disappeared from the pantries of the town hall. For some belongings were taken for personal use. Would have traded some.

Also there was fraud in hours worked. After council meetings that lasted until midnight hour, it was agreed that everyone's worked overnight to one hour. That happened under pressure from some of the staff. The fraud came to light by the time codes of the alarm system.

There was fraud place predictor taxi rides. And it was not only done by the lower staff, but also by councilors and even the mayor, so say sources.

Higher on

Aldermen and former mayors themselves would more often not complied with the rules. So says one of the sources that Mayor Pepper - and especially his wife Neelie Smit-Kroes - gave private parties at the expense of the municipality.

"The enormous waste of money. The ease with which things are done. For example, the book by Ms Kroes ship De Nieuwe Maas for private. Parties where her mother was invited, her brother and the family of Caldenborch, the solid friends clique. And which was provided by the municipality for the catering. " (Former employee of the municipality, Radio Rijnmond, 24-09-1999)

Bram Peper, Photographer: Chess Lien Vollebregt, National Archives / Anefo

Other councilors would have given parties at their home, wherein municipal personnel was used. beverage and tobacco also was previously taken from the Town Hall.

"There feasts were given. Additional shorts were written. That is not so difficult, because I believe there were three to four meals a week at a given time. There's something always came a delegation from. The story is that one of the members of the Cabinet, which was at one point so pissed, the Norwegian delegation to pluck him off the bus, because no sensible word came from him. That kind of conditions were there too. " (Former employee of the municipality, Radio Rijnmond, 24-09-1999)

Much of the staff was aware, but said nothing, for fear of being fired.

"I myself witnessed with my own eyes that they were plastered in the kitchen at the gin, of red wine. You name it. And then I came into the kitchen. And then it was' hey, you keep your door closed he, want anders…” (anonymous employee, Radio Rijnmond, 24-09-1999)

Bringing writing stuff and extra hours were for years the company at City Hall, fix some employees. It was seen as 'acquired rights'. These problems already begun under former Mayor André van der Louw. But certainly under Mayor Pepper seemed permitted these practices.

Onderzoek

Earlier this year the fraud was reported to the Bureau Integrity Act of the municipality of Rotterdam. In silence, the new mayor Opstelten was informed. Just before the summer holidays, the group leaders of the Rotterdam city council be informed.

Opstelten consulted with Justice, but could not do much with the story. No declaration was therefore done.

The investigation into the fraud is done by municipal Van Eck. He suspended three employees before; two security guards and the head of the kitchen. They get a different function within the municipality. The Van Eck report, he calls his staff an "organized criminal gang", according to Radio Rijnmond.

Some of the staff would find it unacceptable that the investigation led by Van Eck. He would have been aware for years of abuse. The research almost exclusively focuses on the period 1998-1999. An investigation into the rumors of private parties is therefore not.

Ivo Opstelten. Foto: government Administration

startled

Mayor Opstelten says to be shocked by the culture he found in Rotterdam, when he was installed earlier this year as mayor.

"There should be just rules. Integrity must be clear codes. And everyone must adhere to, period. And therefore it is necessary sometimes to give people new leadership to create a cultural shift. Well that will happen. " (mayor Opstelten, Radio Rijnmond, 24-09-1999)

Yet fraud is not describe as large as Radio Rijnmond, Mayor Opstelten adds to it. Rumors about the private party does not the mayor and that "he has nothing '. But he says it is fully in accordance with the rules is that guests of City Hall, as delegations, Aldermen received at home.

According Opstelten this is the case 'ready'. No further investigation follows more.

Veel vragen

Yet many parties not satisfied with the explanation from the mayor. The SP in the Rotterdam city council put questions to the mayor about the state of affairs.

"It can not be that only investigates misconduct by junior officials. There is at City Hall, especially in the period Peppers grown a culture. I would describe as' apples who sows, eat apples'. At the time board members, which serve as a model, all bottles inside store, then it is inevitable that one who also serves bottle occasionally take a drink. " (SP Councilor Chris van Heumen, Radio Rijnmond 24-09-1999)

SP colleague Agnes Kant in the House has now asked parliamentary questions about the act of including former Mayor Pepper to the interior minister, Bram Peper.

Also, CDA MP Agnes van Ardenne will the role of Pepper striking.

"I do not know how we're going to raise this as CDA in parliament. Coincidentally, we yesterday at the General Discussion also mentioned a similar proposal to the Minister of the Interior. We then the sample enough Mayor Peppers fired police chief at the time and he had to give a judgment later as minister. That was a bit like a butcher who accepts his own flesh. And there we are actually back. That makes this case extremely complicated. " (Agnes van Ardenne, CDA MP, Radio Rijnmond 24-09-1999)


Hoe ging het verder?

Pepper for it all becomes legally tail, but ultimately he is completely exonerated of all blame. It does not mean that his image has suffered a considerable scratch. The cost his ministry. Op 13 maart 2000 he resigned "to avoid burdening the public administration and to defend themselves against the allegations'.

The anonymous story on Radio Rijnmond parties of aldermen and mayor Peper was even dismissed as nonsense at first. Neelie Kroes even calls it a shame that Radio Rijnmond used a retarded boy to ventilate these lies'. But there comes a new study, if a complaint is filed.

Algemeen Dagblad A month later, with new complaints about Pepper. That does not happen all anonymous. Premier Cook supports Pepper. In the days after the fight and Pepper AD apart from the tent and get some people have complained about Pepper back on their statements. Allegations of the anonymous source of Radio Rijnmond be dismissed by the Bureau Integrity Act.

The independent study by the Commission of Inquiry Bill is now running above the declaration behavior of Pepper and the associated 'receipts'. According to accounting firm KPMG would Pepper 64.000 guilder have wrongly declared.

According justice that amount is not so high. There was an amount of 7.500 guilder incorrectly declared. After the amount is refunded, Justice withdraw the case. Pepper started a case against KPMG and is largely vindicated by the College for business. KPMG had published incorrect facts and had to do extra research.

Pepper gets compensation, but how much it is, is niet bekend.

 

Sources:

Radio Rijnmond - Rijnmond Now, 24-09-1999 (06:00 – 09:00)

Radio Rijnmond - Branie for Two, 24-09-1999 (12:00 – 13:00)

Radio Rijnmond - Rijnmond Now, 24-09-1999 (17:00 – 18:00)

Reformed Daily - Chronology affair Pepper

Wikipedia - Bram Peper

 

Text: Dave Datema

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 19

 

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