On Tuesday, the chapter on the termination of the former municipal utility boss Enno W. Steffens is to be finally closed at the end of 2018. According to SZ information, the municipal utilities have reached a settlement with Mayor Erich Raff (CSU) and the responsible manager’s liability insurance. This stipulates that the insurance company reimburses the municipal utilities 75,000 euros. A few difficult questions, of course, are still open.
Originally, the municipal subsidiary had claimed damage of a good 122,000 euros. This was justified by the fact that Raff, in his role as chairman of the supervisory board, had approved additional bonuses to the then municipal utility manager Steffens in 2015 without the required approval of the supervisory board. In addition, Raff Steffen’s remuneration should not have been canceled, as is usual in such cases, but only reduced during a family-related absence that lasted many weeks. Over the years, that adds up to a total of six-digit figures. Until recently, Raff had denied that there was any damage at all – even if he admitted that he had accidentally passed over the supervisory board. In order to avoid damage to the public’s image and minimize the risk of litigation costs, both sides have now agreed to the settlement. Of course, such an amicable settlement still requires the approval of the city council in its function as the shareholders’ meeting of the municipal utilities. This could be obtained on this Tuesday in a closed session – the committee is to authorize Second Mayor Christian Stangl (Greens) to sign appropriate agreements.
This is also a prerequisite for the mandatory discharge of the Supervisory Board. The decision on this had been postponed at the October meeting because doubts had arisen as to whether a discharge could be interpreted as a waiver of the recourse claims.
On Tuesday, of course, a passage in the draft agreement should come into focus for comparison. There it is expressly stated that with the full payment of the settlement amount “all possible claims of Stadtwerke against Mr. Raff and against all other persons insured according to the insurance contract from or in connection with the dispute with overall effect are finally and conclusively settled” – regardless of whether whether the claims are “past, present or future, known or unknown”.
Observers see it as a kind of clean bill of health in the event that more “corpses in the cellar” should turn up. Above all, so the concern, this would dispense with the clarification of an open matter without need. It is about the endowment of Bernd Romeike. Although this was also an issue in the supervisory board during the current term of office, according to one member there was no need for further action in the matter. After Steffen’s expulsion, the energy expert from Olching took over the Stadtwerke as interim managing director for a year before he cleared the executive chair for Jan Hoppenstedt as planned at the beginning of the year. From the circle of the supervisory board members at the time, the accusation arose at the beginning of 2019 that Raff had initially made a single-handed decision about the endowment of Romeike. The contract for his remuneration (estimated at 180,000 euros) is said to have been approved only retrospectively by the Supervisory Board – which is also criticized for failures due to lack of control. Apparently, around 30,000 euros “too much” were approved in the end.
Romeike had emphasized to the SZ that it had been clear before his commitment and the commitment that he should receive remuneration at Steffen’s level. He had no knowledge that these contained illegitimate additional royalties, as it became known in the course of Steffen’s legal proceedings against Stadtwerke.
Erich Raff did not want to give any details about the agreements with Romeike in March. Contractual matters are generally not intended for the public. If the city council gives Christian Stangl a power of attorney to sign the settlement on Tuesday, then the Romeike case should also be off the table.