It’s been in for months Berlin and Brandenburg were expected next Friday. He should finally deliver a preliminary result in the scandal investigation in the RBB, with the final report of the external compliance investigation. The fact that the lawyers at the Lutz Abel law firm have again asked for a postponement, this time until the end of June, is the kind of bad news that nobody needs on Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.
Nevertheless, the now former chairman of the RBB board of directors, Dorett König, had to announce last week that the conclusion had to be postponed again. The law firm has meanwhile worked through all the documents, but still has to conduct interviews. It is the last official act of the king, because the Broadcasting Council and the Board of Directors have now been reconstituted.
Most recently, in January, there was resentment in the Broadcasting Council because of the ongoing scandal investigation. At that time, because Lutz Abel did not finish the examinations at the end of February as expected. The end of last year had previously been specified as the target period. As the investigation drags on, the cost of the RBB: By the end of March, the compliance investigation had resulted in legal fees of 1.3 million euros for the broadcaster.
RBB Director General Vernau defended the open-ended order to the law firm in the FAZ: It was not possible to agree a fixed budget with the lawyers when they were commissioned last summer. “The indications of misconduct by the artistic director” Patricia Schlesinger should be investigated comprehensively, it was not yet clear “what extent the investigation would take”. RBB’s compliance officer, who hired the law firm together with the board of directors, instructed the lawyers to carry out “a complete investigation” and also to follow up on information that was only received during the investigation. According to Vernau, she herself called for “the report to be completed and submitted as soon as possible”.
For the RBB who is currently saving on his program, there is a lot of money at stake, admitted Vernau. Especially since the legal fees are not limited to the law firm Lutz Abel. The broadcaster is conducting several labor lawsuits with the former director Schlesinger and other executives and is involved in the investigations of the Berlin public prosecutor’s office. After the scandal about wasting money and nepotism, RBB had spent 1.4 million euros for four committed law firms by the end of November alone. How high are the costs now? The RBB reports on request: “The total costs for all law firms commissioned amount to 1.87 million euros in the corresponding period.”