Voters in Frankfurt remove city’s mayor amid corruption case

Nov 6, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: 11:59 pm

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Voters in Germany’s main financial center, Frankfurt, have removed the city’s mayor who is on trial in a corruption case.

Authorities said 95.1% of those who turned out on Sunday voted to recall Peter Feldmann, a member of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats who has been mayor for 10 years.

Frankfurt prosecutors in March charged Feldmann with exercising undue advantage. They alleged that his partner had earned an unreasonably high salary as the head of a daycare facility for children run by an organization that had helped raise funds during his 2018 re-election campaign, and that he had planned to “sympathetically consider” the organization’s interests in return.

Feldmann, 64, denied any wrongdoing. His trial opened last month.

He also did himself no favors after local top-flight soccer club Eintracht Frankfurt won the Europa League in May, including with a scene in which he took the trophy from the team’s captain and coach at an official reception. Eintracht said Feldmann, who apologized for that incident, was no longer welcome at its stadium.

Feldmann ignored widespread calls to resign in recent months, including from his own party. He said that he would step down in January; the city council voted shortly afterward to remove him. Feldmann ignored a deadline to accept that decision, which set up Sunday’s referendum.

Feldmann’s period in office officially ends on Friday. His deputy, Nargess Eskandari-Gruenberg of the Green party, will carry out his duties until a new election is held. That has to happen within four months.

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Voters in Frankfurt remove city’s mayor amid corruption case