"Soest is and remains a tranquil town. Its established citizens have a hard time with people who fall out of the traditional and anchored role models. [...] Successful, lesbian, feminist women fall out of these role models and sometimes cause alienation," wrote one councillor to us.
The mayor, other councillors and the local press did a lot to chase me out of my office and us out of their urban society. When I defended ourselves and spoke publicly of misogyny and homophobia, no one stood by our side, on the contrary, the mayor was publicly indignant: Outrageous!“ A classic perpetrator-victim reversal took place. This is the story in a nutshell:
The mayor systematically and purposefully spread false and defamatory statements targeted at removing me, the CEO of the municipal economic development agency and a woman living openly as a lesbian, from office - despite my proven outstanding accomplishments. His slanders were designed to misogynistically and homophobically stereotype me as “butch” and “dyke”, as non-bourgeois and aggressive.
When my imminent non-re-election was leaked to the local press thus prompting me to assume that the press also had comprehensive and indepth knowledge of the mayor´s slander, which I knew by then only in fragments distilled from the manifold rumours, I published a differentiated interview I had given a local journalist.
In this interview I stated, inter alia, my conviction that my non-reelection to the office of CEO was fuelled in no small part by misogyny and homophobia.
Thereupon the city council terminated my contract with immediate effect deeming the aforementioned statement a false, malevolent and defamatory allegation of fact.
Throughout my tenure, the local press violated journalistic principles. Thereby was a close connection to (Supervisory) council menbers, especially to the entourage of the mayor. Thus, press campaigns directed against me were not stopped or even get started from there, internal matters were pierced to the press in violation of the obligation of confidentiality, moreover with a false spin directed against me and my non-re-election was pierced to the press in violation of the obligation of confidentiality, the duty of loyalty and care and my personell data protection. The day after my incriminated interview, the Soester Anzeiger adopted the narratives of the mayor and his entourage – knowing full well that these narratives were wrong – and remains silent to this day about the planned and targeted lies of the non-re-election campaign.
Behind the tiles (please click on the tiles), you will find a detailed explanation of the mechanisms of discrimination and a socio-political context. Please note that the text continues below the tiles with the chapter "After my tenure."
After my term of office
When I filed a lawsuit against the immediate termination, the supervisory board chose to reiterate at least a portion of the defamation in court and added new falsehoods. This allowed me to discover the specific accusations through which the mayor and possibly other (supervisory) council members had orchestrated my non-reappointment and expose these falsehoods. However, instead of holding the mayor accountable, the supervisory board and city council opted for a second immediate termination.
At this juncture, my Wikipedia entry was updated as follows:
The conclusion of Dobberstein's tenure in Soest was marked by mutual, serious public allegations. Dobberstein accused Soest's politics of misogyny and homophobia, while the mayor vehemently denied these allegations. Dobberstein was initially placed on leave and then subsequently terminated.
The newspaper articles from the Soester Anzeiger, as described above, systematically engaged in a perpetrator-victim reversal and propagated further falsehoods from the mayor and his circle, which were also disseminated through my Wikipedia entry.
I filed a criminal complaint against the mayor, the members of the supervisory board, and unknown individuals for defamation, attempted fraud in legal proceedings, and all other relevant offenses.
For 21 months, the WMS (Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH), represented by the supervisory board, did not provide me with a testimonial. The testimonial that was eventually issued omits a significant portion of my accomplishments, does not quantify the remaining ones, weighs them inaccurately, and perpetuates the defamation from the non-reappointment campaign. It would be a death sentence in any job application process. Just four days before the testimonial was issued, the WMS's attorney also represented the mayor as his attorney and accessed the criminal proceedings. The timing strongly suggests that she was inquiring about the mayor, which she was not permitted to include in the testimonial as the WMS's attorney, to avoid it being construed as an admission of guilt in the criminal proceedings against the mayor.
The Arnsberg District Court dismissed the lawsuit against the summary termination without mentioning the defamation or other breaches of duty by the mayor and/or possibly other (supervisory) council members in its factual summary. It did not consider that it was the defamation and leaks by (supervisory) council members to the press in the days, weeks, and months leading up to the election that put me in the situation where I believed I could no longer defend myself in any other way than by going public. By not mentioning the defamation from the non-reappointment campaign and its repetition and supplementation in court, the District Court protected the supervisory board members, especially the mayor, from a judicial determination of their defamation and, consequently, from political consequences. Therefore, I am convinced that not only was the judgment based on a flawed assessment, but justice was also bent.
My criminal complaint against the mayor, the chairwoman of the supervisory board, and others was twice dismissed by the Arnsberg Public Prosecutor's Office in the summer and autumn of 2021. The first dismissal was based on the argument that the criminal complaint was filed too late, with an obviously incorrect calculation of the statute of limitations. Upon reopening the case, the senior prosecutor admitted that the criminal complaint was filed in a timely manner. However, he now claimed that the events related to the defamation from the non-reappointment campaign were too far in the past, without explaining how he concluded that the statute of limitations had already expired. The crucial factor is not when the events being lied about happened but when the lies themselves were made. The supervisory board explicitly presented what I reported in my criminal complaint as reasons for non-reappointment. Therefore, these allegations were used in the public opinion formation process before the reappointment, a time frame for which the statute of limitations had not expired.
As another reason for the renewed dismissal, the senior prosecutor claimed that what I reported in my criminal complaint amounted to mere exaggerations, which are allowed in court, and subjective assessments of my performance. However, I deliberately restricted my complaint to false factual claims. For example, the mayor claimed that I had approached the Russian embassy without coordination and inferred that we could not work together. In reality, there is an email correspondence proving that I contacted the Russian embassy against my expressed wishes, following explicit instructions from the mayor. The claim that I approached the Russian embassy without coordination is neither an exaggeration nor an unnecessarily harsh formulation nor a subjective assessment of my performance; it is a false factual claim, defamation.
On November 16, 2021, I filed a complaint with the General Prosecutor's Office in Hamm, which was not processed for 14 months. After a year, I complained to the Ministry of Justice, expressing my difficulty believing that the case was not intentionally delayed to let the statute of limitations for the defamation from the non-reappointment campaign actually expire. Given this concern, I submitted a petition to the NRW State Parliament on November 25, 2022.
On January 13, 2023, with knowledge of my petition, the General Prosecutor's Office rejected my complaint against the dismissal of the criminal proceedings against the mayor and others, making the termination final. With a few brief words, the General Prosecutor's Office in Hamm supported the Arnsberg Public Prosecutor's Office. I consider the dismissal to be a perversion of justice to protect the mayor and other (supervisory) council members.
The petition was only included in the process during the third week of 2023. It was only at this point that the Ministry of Justice was requested to provide a statement, well after the criminal proceedings had already been terminated.
Since 2020, I have repeatedly informed and sought help from the party leadership in Düsseldorf and Berlin, especially from the Greens and the CDU, as well as the relevant ministers. I provided the party leadership with the opportunity to influence their local level before the dispute escalated. I never received a response. Meanwhile, the state government continues to affirm its commitment to combating discrimination and violence against queer individuals and professes zero tolerance for all forms of group-specific hatred, as stated most recently in its government declaration on August 31, 2022.
"We consistently oppose discrimination and violence against queer people and show zero tolerance for all forms of group-specific misanthropy."
Threat to have my incapacity and procedural incapacity determined by the courts, i.e. to deprive me of my sanity and to have me placed under care
Shortly before Christmas 2022, a temporary employee of WMS posted on my Facebook account, claiming among other things that all problems with employees, which, as in any company, were undisputedly present, were solely due to me. This was easily exposed as defamation because there are an external expert report, warnings, and documents from labor court proceedings that prove there were problems with several employees, which were due to their unmotivated work attitude, poor work results, and bad leadership. Furthermore, much indicated that the temporary employee, a retiree who had worked in the city administration for many years before her retirement and only worked as a temp in public customer areas like the tourist information, had no insight into the core business fields of the company and thus cannot judge employee problems, did not act on her own initiative.
I had this temporary employee warned about her defamation in the post, a very common procedure. But despite the overwhelming evidence, she did not sign the cease and desist declaration and commissioned a lawyer who acts as one of the in-house lawyers for the city administration and its subsidiaries (municipal utilities, hospital, WMS). This lawyer had advised me on some employee problems, and I had followed his recommendations under his auspices at least in part.
And now, instead of negotiating, this lawyer is threatening that if I sue for an injunction, he will have my legal capacity examined. This is a wholly inappropriate and unusual reaction. And it is also implausible to me that the temporary employee, whom I naturally only encountered rarely, barely know, and who barely knows me, is now so obsessed with me that she wants to spend a five-digit amount to have an expert examine my legal capacity.
Choosing one of the "corporate" city's in-house lawyers and this unusual reaction to a simple injunction suit reinforces my view that the temporary employee is only acting as a representative, and it is not about the post itself, but about something else entirely. Therefore, I understand this lawyer's threat as a general warning from the city group that if I continue to defend myself against the reputation damage in connection with my non-re-election and dismissal without notice, an attempt will be made to have me declared legally incompetent.
Meanwhile, the lawyer has added: "The reading of the correspondence available to me so far suggests that one or the other fact should be reported to the public prosecutor's office for review. At this opportunity, the question of your criminal responsibility would also have to be examined." I understand this as another attempt to intimidate me, this time with the announcement that he can initiate a proceeding in which he can request the examination of my mental capacity.
So far, the (supervisory) board has not distanced itself from the temporary employee's post or the lawyer's behavior.
There are enough examples of healthy people being examined as mentally ill, for example, in the so-called tax investigator affair, where tax investigators were attested to suffer from an incurable paranoid quixotic development and adjustment disorder after successfully carrying out their duties (search of Commerzbank executive floor) in expert opinions and were therefore forced into early retirement. Another example is Gustl Mollath, who was diagnosed as not guilty and committed to psychiatric custody after speaking about black market deals at UniCredit Bank. The danger is, therefore, real, and the threat has already been made several times.
It is typical for people who resist to be discredited as bad, mad, and/or sad. The day after I publicly said that misogyny and homophobia also played a role in my not being re-elected, the mayor and his circle vilified me and portrayed me as "bad": unheard of, unprecedented, a malicious false claim.
Now, it seems the argument is shifting to "mad".
Something very similar is happening to Prince Harry right now - in January 2023. He is not only accused of destroying his family and the institution of the monarchy (bad) and pitied for being such a happy man before he met Meghan, but now depressed (sad), but also accused of being crazy (mad): Royal family thinks Prince Harry has been 'kidnapped by a cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'. His mother, Princess Diana, also faced a similar situation. Friends of Prince Charles spread rumors that she was unstable, ill, and in need of psychiatric help.
In reality, Diana was perfectly clear. Andrew Morton once said, "She was dismissed as mad. So she was living in this Kafkaesque world where she could see the truth and everybody was denying the truth." I filed a criminal complaint against the temporary worker. On February 3rd, 2023, the Arnsberg public prosecutor's office terminated this criminal proceedings against the temporary worker, stating that they could not see any public interest in prosecution. It was apparent that the temporary worker's intention was to criticize my role as the managing director of a public company and thereby retroactively legitimize my non-reelection and immediate dismissal. Additionally, I provided the public prosecutor's office with evidence that it was plausible that the temporary worker did not act on their own initiative and that the post was also intended to provoke a legal dispute in which my legal capacity would be questioned or at least to intimidate me by threatening such a procedure to stop me from publicly asserting that misogyny and homophobia had played a significant role in my non-reelection. In my opinion, all of this is indeed a matter of public interest. Moreover, the proceedings were not handled by a public prosecutor or a subordinate prosecutor, but by a senior public prosecutor, i.e., the group leader. If the matter was essential for the public prosecutor's office, then why not for the public?
Registration of my case with the reporting office for anti-feminism at the Amadeu Antonio Foundation
In February 2023, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation established a reporting office for anti-feminism, funded by the Federal Government. In the first few days, I reported my case there. On February 21, 2023, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation informed me that they had registered my case and classified it as anti-feminist and homophobic discrimination:
"Thank you very much for your report, which we have included in our documentation. We would like to expressly thank you for the detailed explanations that make the structural and systemic dimensions with which the misogynistic and homophobic attitudes and accusations against you have influenced clear. It also becomes clear that you have already taken legal steps, and as you aptly describe, typical misogynistic patterns are also taking place here. Homophobic discrimination and exclusion over so many years is an immense burden."
Therefore, one of the first registered cases is not a case on the fringes of society, but in the center of society, even within democratic institutions. Responsible are a mayor, an entire city council, a judge, chief and general prosecutors, the NRW Minister of Justice, to whom the public prosecutor's office is subject, and the party leaders in Düsseldorf and Berlin, who have allowed their officials at the local level to act with impunity and have left much room for group-based hatred.
Since my non-re-election, I have turned to many places for help. I have been repeatedly referred to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, most recently by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and the Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation. In fact, in various stages of the conflict, I have repeatedly turned to the Anti-Discrimination Agency, most recently after the threat to have my guilt and capacity to stand trial examined in court. However, I have always been told there that they cannot help me. Recently, Ms. Ataman conveyed to me that she will no longer respond to my cries for help in the future: "Unfortunately, as stated in the response on August 4, 2022, we cannot help you any further. We regret that we cannot do more for you and ask for your understanding that we will only take note of further submissions."
Since my non-reappointment, I have sought help from various sources. Time and again, I have been directed to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Office, most recently by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and the Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation. In fact, at different stages of the conflict, I repeatedly reached out to the Anti-Discrimination Office, only to receive responses indicating that they, unfortunately, could not assist me. From their organization, I received, among other responses, the following:
"We by no means wish to exclude that you feel discriminated against, and we can also understand how burdensome this all is for you."
It was not only doubted that I had been discriminated against but even that I felt discriminated against.
Most recently, after the threat to have my legal capacity and mental fitness examined in court, I contacted Ms. Ataman. In response, she conveyed that she would no longer respond to my pleas for help:
"Unfortunately, as stated in the response dated August 4, 2022, we cannot assist you further. We regret that we cannot do more for you and ask for your understanding that we will only take further communications into account."
Attempt to Suppress Evidence of Lies and Achievements
On Good Friday 2023, I received a letter from a new law firm appointed by the WMS. In this letter, in addition to the threat of legal action, it essentially demands that I sign a legally binding cease and desist declaration. In this declaration, I am required, among other things, to commit to the following:
"To refrain immediately from disclosing, communicating, disseminating, or otherwise making available and/or exploiting and/or making accessible and/or having third parties perform the aforementioned actions in relation to information and/or data, especially confidential information, business and operational secrets, including personal data of the employees of Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH, which you have become aware of in the course of your activities as Managing Director of our client, in business and operational matters, to third parties and the public, especially to members of the Council and the Supervisory Board of Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH and/or employees of Wirtschaft und Marketing Soest GmbH."
The circumstances surrounding the law firm's authorization are peculiar:
- It was granted on February 3, 2023, which is 12 days after I received a threat from a house lawyer as follows:
"The reading of the correspondence that has been provided to me so far suggests that certain facts should be reported to the public prosecutor's office for examination. On this occasion, your sanity would also have to be assessed."
I had also asked the (Supervisory) Council to distance itself from the actions of their house lawyer.
The house lawyer and his wife, as well as the attorney from the appointed law firm and his wife, seem to know each other well. Although the two firms are located in different cities, the men are friends with each other on Facebook, the men are friends with each other's wives, and the women are also friends with each other.
- Despite the fact that the judicial and extrajudicial disputes have been ongoing for nearly three years and should therefore be common knowledge to all parties involved, that the company's articles of association stipulate that WMS is represented by its Supervisory Board in relation to the management, the authorization of the law firm was signed not by the Chair of the Supervisory Board but by the current Managing Director.
My attorney questioned the authorization on these grounds and demanded the presentation of the necessary Supervisory Board resolution for the authorization and a power of attorney signed by the Chair of the Supervisory Board. The law firm now claims that such a Supervisory Board resolution was passed on March 2, 2023, which is four weeks after the law firm was authorized, but it did not provide evidence of this resolution. Despite the law firm's continued belief that the current Managing Director is authorized to represent the company, they still introduced a power of attorney from the Chair of the Supervisory Board, but the location and date of the signature are missing.
- The power of attorney lacks a clear description of the scope of the authorization.
There are several noteworthy aspects regarding the cease and desist declaration itself, including:
- The fact that the cease and desist letter does not list a single actionable legal violation. The accompanying cease and desist declaration also consistently fails to define specifically what I would be obligated to keep confidential after signing. It particularly includes confidential information, which means information that is not necessarily confidential.
In my opinion, there is indeed no actionable legal violation that the attorney could have named: Most of the data I publish on my website consists of publicly accessible information from financial statements, public resolutions, and press reports. Furthermore, I usually only name data relatively, such as a percentage or as x € above plan, without disclosing the plan figure.
Additionally, the figures come from completed projects, so they can no longer harm WMS. For all the information and data published on this website, I have carefully weighed my duty of confidentiality against my own need for protection. I only disclose data and information when they serve to refute the lies propagated by the Mayor and other (Supervisory) Council members.
In my opinion, someone who lies systematically and purposefully, lies in office and before the courts, and violates the principle of legality in administration cannot invoke the confidentiality obligation of the other party, neither morally nor legally.
- The Supervisory Board, which represents WMS against me, wants to ensure that I keep them uninformed, especially I should no longer provide data and information to members of the Supervisory Board and the City Council. In the course of the judicial and extrajudicial dispute, I did, in fact, provide confidential information and data to the Supervisory Board and the Council. However, these bodies are not outsiders: WMS's Supervisory Board is an organ of the company, and the City Council of Soest is the self-governing body of the sole shareholder of WMS, where the shareholder conducts its decision-making process. Not only does the shareholder's decision-making take place in the Council as the representative of the City of Soest, but the Council also has the responsibility to oversee the administration of the City of Soest, including the Mayor. The Council thus represents "the City" itself, i.e., the shareholder of WMS. The former Managing Director has no duty of confidentiality towards these bodies; on the contrary, these bodies are entitled to transparency.
In my opinion, WMS is not acting here to protect the company from harm but is being misused to attempt to eliminate evidence of the lies circulating and my outstanding achievements from the world after the termination of the criminal proceedings against the Mayor. If I signed, I would not even be able to attach my performance record to job applications. All that would remain is the lies that destroy my reputation, career, and economic livelihood.
Furthermore, it is possible that this is an attempt to implement what the City of Soest's house lawyer threatened in January: to look for a pretext for a criminal complaint or a lawsuit, and then to have my guilt or legal capacity examined in the proceedings:
- The temporal proximity between the house lawyer's threat and the new law firm's engagement.
- The lack of a specific scope of authorization in the power of attorney. It was essentially a blank authorization. The attorney was therefore not given a specific task but apparently had to search for something against which to file a criminal complaint or a civil lawsuit.
- What I should provide a cease and desist declaration for, I had already published on Facebook in the second half of 2020 and on this website from the first half of 2021. In every conceivable way, a long time passed before the cease and desist letter was sent.
- The lawyer's letter suggests that I have taken laptops, iPads, smartphones, and keys with me and still have them in my possession, without specifying which devices and keys they are referring to. Almost three years after my departure, this is also a strange accusation, especially considering that there are handover protocols for everything.
Finally, I have the following question: What objective interest does the current Managing Director have in preventing me from informing the (Supervisory) Council about confidences from my term in office, to the extent that she exceeded her corporate representation authority? Or did she act under pressure from someone who has such an interest?
Rejection of the Petition
As described above, on November 25, 2022, I submitted a petition to the State Parliament in which I primarily requested the Minister of Justice to decide, after 14 months, on my complaint against the termination of the criminal proceedings against the Mayor et al, and not to let the case fall into statutory limitation. In awareness of the petition, the Public Prosecutor's Office definitively terminated the proceedings on January 13, 2023, even before the Petitions Committee had requested a statement from the Minister of Justice in the 3rd week of 2023.
Since I am well aware that the Petitions Committee cannot review, change, or overturn court judgments and decisions of the (General) Prosecutor's Office, I updated my requests to the Petitions Committee on January 30, 2023, as follows:
I would like to request the Petitions Committee to ascertain that:
- what we described and substantiated with affidavits in the civil lawsuit against my wrongful termination should be regarded as misogyny, homophobia, and racism,
- the assertion that I did not cooperate and that my manner of communication was inappropriate, rendering me unsuitable for public office, is based on false factual claims,
- my performance record, as described in my testimonial draft, is accurate, and claims that my performance record is inaccurate are based on false factual claims,
- not all problems I had with colleagues were solely attributable to me, and there were numerous problems that were not caused by me.
Furthermore, I would like to request the Petitions Committee to recommend to the city of Soest that the members of the Supervisory Board of the Economic and Marketing GmbH be instructed to:
- issue me a testimonial in accordance with my testimonial draft from December 7, 2020,
- pay out the fraction of overtime and vacation claims I am demanding,
- refrain from attempting, directly or indirectly, to establish my legal incapacity.
Lastly, I would like to make one more request. The in-house counsel of the "corporation" Soest derives my lack of legal capacity from my seeking help from the Minister of Justice and party leaders. Please ensure that the submission of this petition is not similarly construed and used in a proceeding to evaluate my legal capacity or culpability against me.
Now, the Petitions Committee has communicated the following decision to me on April 26, 2023:
"The Ministry of Justice will address the petitioner's further disciplinary complaint against the decision of the Attorney General dated January 5, 2023, in due course.
The Petitions Committee notes in this context that, due to the judicial independence guaranteed by Article 97 of the Basic Law, it is not possible for it to review, alter, or overturn judicial decisions. Once legal recourse has been exhausted, the result must be accepted.
The legal duties, including those related to handling disciplinary complaints, have been observed by the city in question and the relevant municipal oversight. There do not appear to be any violations of municipal oversight law by the individuals involved.
The Petitions Committee, therefore, sees no reason to recommend measures to the state government (Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs, Local Government, Building and Digitalization) in this regard.
Also, with respect to the remaining presentation, the Petitions Committee does not see any possibility to take action in line with the petition."
Now, this decision does not align with my requests in the slightest:
I have never asked the Petitions Committee to review, alter, or overturn judicial assessments. In fact, there has only been one judicial dispute so far, in which the subject matter of the judgment solely concerned the legality of the termination, which I did not mention in my petition.
Especially regarding the testimonial and the payment of overtime and vacation claims, there has been no prior judicial dispute.
I did not file a disciplinary complaint with the Ministry of Justice, and a disciplinary complaint I filed with the District Administrator against the Mayor in the summer of 2021, which she rejected on the grounds of being unauthorized without delving into its substance, was not part of the petition; I did not even mention it. Furthermore, I did not ask the Petitions Committee to recommend measures to the state government.
It appears that the city of Soest asserted in its statement that everything had already been decided in court. This narrative has been repeated to me and others by the Supervisory Board on several occasions recently. Once again, it creates the image of a deranged woman who cannot accept court judgments. Unfortunately, the Petitions Committee has bought into this narrative.
What I actually asked the Petitions Committee to do is only addressed in the following sentence:
"Also, with respect to the remaining presentation, the Petitions Committee does not see any possibility to take action in line with the petition."
With the explanation that the rejection does not consider my requests as formulated in the application, I resubmitted the petition, with nearly identical results: it cannot review, alter, or overturn judicial decisions. Furthermore, the Petitions Committee refers me to the civil legal route for matters that have not yet been decided in court. Thus, the Petitions Committee contradicts itself: on one hand, it states that it cannot review, alter, or overturn judicial decisions, and on the other hand, it directs me to the legal route for matters not yet decided in court. It is not responsible for either, meaning it is responsible for NOTHING. This is certainly not true. The Petitions Committee of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Parliament is the most powerful one in the state.
Moreover, the Petitions Committee refers me to the legal route, well aware that:
- all the legal avenues we pursued, despite overwhelming evidence, were unsuccessful; the Anti-Feminism Reporting Center at the Antonio-Amadeo Foundation has already diagnosed this as misogynistic patterns, and the same district court and chamber that, in my well-founded opinion, bent the law to protect the Mayor from criminal and political consequences and the city of Soest from high damages in the termination case would be responsible for any further proceedings, and they have an interest in not contradicting the first case;
- a threat exists to use any legal dispute as an opportunity to attempt to declare me legally incapacitated.
Thus, similar to the Landgericht Arnsberg and the (General) Prosecutor's Office, the Petitions Committee also avoids addressing the core issues of
- misogyny, homophobia, and (indirect) racist discrimination, the lies of the Mayor and others in office and in court, as well as the denial of even basic rights such as a proper testimonial and the payment of vacation and overtime claims -
not addressing them at all and not explaining why it cannot fulfill my requests. I do not believe this is due to a lack of intellectual ability. I certainly trust the members of the Petitions Committee to look at the first page of a court file to understand the subject matter. Therefore, I assume that the members of the City Council, the judges at the district court, the (General) Prosecutors, the members of the state government, party leaders, and also the Petitions Committee are aware of the enormity of the scandal, knowing that denying it would make them look ridiculous, and acknowledging it would severely damage the core brands of their respective parties, so they intentionally avoid addressing the issue. In my impression, similar to the situation in the Catholic Church for a long time, the focus is on protecting the wrongdoers within their own ranks rather than helping the victim.
Nothing would have prevented the Petitions Committee from forming its own judgment and making a similar assessment as the Anti-Feminism Reporting Center, which had the courage to speak plainly:
"The structural and systemic dimensions through which misogynistic and homophobic attitudes and accusations against you have influenced events in recent years are very apparent. It is also evident that you have already taken legal avenues, and as you aptly put it, typical misogynistic patterns are at play here."
The Petitions Committee has seen that the termination of the criminal proceedings did not bring about a resolution but instead gave the Mayor and the (Supervisory) Council even more leeway to pursue actions against me. Nevertheless, the Petitions Committee took no action to halt the Mayor and the (Supervisory) Council. Instead, the Petitions Committee's withdrawal has given the Mayor and the (Supervisory) Council even more freedom. I now expect anything, and based on my previous experiences, I have every reason not to trust that the courts and the prosecutor's office will protect me.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize that I proposed mediation even before the immediate termination was issued, and I reiterated this offer repeatedly well into 2022. I come from a background in the private sector where you are trained to craft solutions in negotiations and not to resort to courts. However, the supervisory board consistently refused any negotiation and thus forced me into the legal process time and again.
In January 2023, in response to the threats from the house lawyer of the "corporation" City of Soest, who was actively seeking a reason to file a criminal complaint and initiate a legal process to assess my sanity, my partner and I decided to forgo filing a lawsuit to compel prosecution regarding the criminal complaint against the mayor, the AR chairwoman, and others, as well as an injunction against the temporary employee of WMS, and a criminal complaint against the mentioned house lawyer. This was an extremely difficult decision for us, given the significant impact it had on my reputation, career, and economic well-being. However, even this decision to avoid further confrontation did not bring us peace.
I loved my job in Soest and showed it to everyone. I was approachable, transparent, friendly, extraordinarily committed, and remarkably successful for the city. I was the best version of myself. Nevertheless, both my partner and I were unwelcome. This was a significant burden during my tenure, and the lack of willingness to seek a reconciliatory resolution, or even to communicate with us, persists to this day.
I continue to desire a reconciliatory resolution that offers me a perspective to finally move on. I firmly believe that addressing the events would also be beneficial for the Soest community.
If the (supervisory) council members were to express their regret for the events of the past five years in this matter, publicly acknowledge that they may have had biases at the time, which perhaps weren't fully realized, that they instigated and allowed themselves to be incited against us, and that they have come to recognize this over the last three years, it would greatly advance the city's community. It would be a significant step forward, setting an example not only for Soest but for the entire nation.
It would be a modernization boost, far more impactful than the well-intentioned establishment of counseling centers for LGBTIQ individuals and raising the rainbow flag at the county building could ever be. It would be exemplary beyond the small town of Soest and could make Soest nationally known as a "trailblazing city." Josefine Paul and Hendrik Wüst would surely be proud of Soest, and rightfully so!
To be able to sincerely apologize to me and my partner, it is necessary for the (supervisory) council to honestly examine the history and make a sincere and credible attempt at restitution. My partner and I are still willing to embark on such a path.
Party Headquarters / State Government
From an early stage, I repeatedly reached out to the party headquarters in Berlin and Düsseldorf, as well as to members of the state government, including the CDU, even before their non-re-election. I understand that it is difficult for parties to publicly disown their officeholders. Therefore, I never demanded that. However, my pleas for help also presented opportunities for the party headquarters and members of the state government to exert pressure behind the scenes at the local level, encouraging them to reach a settlement before the matter escalated to the state and federal levels. Unfortunately, with the dismissal of the legal proceedings, it has now become a matter at the state level.
I completely share the opinion of the Duchess of Sussex and have made every effort in that regard. The truth is plain to see; I have been able to provide an unusually large amount of evidence. Over the course of more than three years, I have gone to great lengths and contacted many individuals and organizations, either directly or formally: members of the city council, the Soester Anzeiger, the party headquarters in Düsseldorf and Berlin, members of the NRW state government, the district court, the Petitions Committee of the NRW state parliament, the prosecutor's office, the General Prosecutor's Office, and the Press Council. However, they have all sided with the mayor or his supporters. Furthermore, I have sought assistance from numerous associations, organizations, and support centers, foremost among them being the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency. Unfortunately, they all informed me that they couldn't assist me.
The prosecutor who dismissed my criminal complaint against the mayor, the chairwoman of the AR committee, and others is allegedly detaining an innocent refugee.
In August 2023, the Soester Anzeiger (Brutale Jagdszenen im Penny - Zeugenaussagen erscheinen durch Video in neuem Licht, „Penny-Prozess“ gegen ZUE-Bewohner: Die Anklage bröckelt gewaltig), reported that the same prosecutor who had repeatedly dismissed my criminal complaint against the mayor, the chairwoman, and others had taken an asylum-seeking Algerian into custody for six months and charged him with three alleged crimes. However, in court, it was revealed that the Algerian was not the perpetrator in one case but the victim of a witch hunt. In the other two cases, there is doubt about the alleged perpetrator's presence at the scene, as he couldn't have left the central accommodation due to a leg injury. "One witness was reminded of their duty to tell the truth in the face of an obvious false statement; another couldn't identify the accused as the assailant, and one witness couldn't even remember the crime she was supposed to testify about. Yet another witness provided significant exculpatory evidence by stating that the man who had injured the store detective and a customer in front of Penny was definitely someone different from the person sitting in the defendant's seat," as reported by the Soester Anzeiger. Apparently, the video recordings of one of the incidents had not been properly reviewed before the trial, the videotapes of the second incident had not been secured at all, and the Algerian's claim of being sick in bed had not been verified. It's hard to believe that the lack of diligence in verifying exculpatory evidence has nothing to do with racism. Next, the alleged perpetrator, who should now probably be referred to as the alleged innocent, is to undergo psychiatric evaluation. I find myself asking: Why, if he was allegedly not the perpetrator in any of the crimes brought to trial?
In a comment in the Soester Anzeiger, I strongly criticized the Chief Prosecutor, stating that it was difficult for me to believe that the lack of diligence in reviewing exonerating evidence had nothing to do with racism. I connected this to my criminal complaint against the mayor and referenced this website. A first user posted: "Inhumane, homophobic, racist, ignorant, cowardly, and now panic and sheer fear on top of it. Poor CDU." In another post, I was defamed under a nickname. This user seemed to have intimate knowledge, so I suspect it may be a city council member, a member of the administrative leadership, or someone from their circle. It was claimed that I had violated rules during my tenure without specifying which ones. When I contradicted and wrote that it was not me but the mayor who had violated rules by lying skillfully and purposefully while in office and in court, the Soester Anzeiger deleted all posts and disabled the comment function.
Shortly thereafter, the pre-trial detention was lifted, and another scheduled trial day was chanceled . It turned out that one of the jurors "no longer saw themselves able to continue with the proceedings." The wording chosen implies that there may have been a conflict of conscience. Such a conflict can only arise when there is pressure to act differently from what one's own conscience dictates. So, I wonder, under what pressure was the juror, and who exerted that pressure? The entire court proceeding had to be restarted with new jurors. It eventually concluded with an acquittal. The previous prosecuting attorney, who was also responsible for my criminal complaint against the mayor, no longer represented the prosecution; instead, a female prosecutor took over. Perhaps she, who has a non-German name, was not chosen by chance, to demonstrate that the prosecution is not racist.
Nothing has been reported about the six individuals who chased the Algerian through the supermarket. Were these individuals who randomly encountered each other, leading to an accidental dispute that escalated into a chase? Or was it a group that deliberately targeted an asylum seeker for a chase? Will the prosecution file charges against these individuals?
Public Sentiment Against Refugees
All of this is happening against the backdrop of months of public sentiment being stirred against refugees in the Central Accommodation Unit (ZUE) in Soest. In April, the mayor wrote what, in my view, can be described as an inflammatory letter to the responsible State Minister, Paul. According to the Soester Anzeiger, the mayor portrays refugees, whom he labels with the derogatory term "Flüchtlinge," in a significantly negative light from the outset, for example:
"Due to this large number of refugees who are increasingly present in the city center and around the train station, the cityscape is undergoing significant changes," writes Ruthemeyer – and it's anything but positive. [...] Residents of ZUE Soest and Echtrop are "regularly encountered in large groups within the city of Soest."
I seem to recall that regularly, primarily elderly German retirees from the Ruhr area can also be found in large groups in the cityscape of Soest, and they are warmly welcomed. What bothers the mayor about groups of refugees in the city of Soest? I would like to remind everyone that parts of the Soest City Council were so disturbed by what they perceived as a "too broad Slavic face" and the non-German surname of my life partner that they did not consider her, a German academic with a German mother and father, a Bavarian top-grade high school graduate, and holder of Bavarian state exams, worthy of being accepted into Soest's city society. Subsequently, considerable pressure was exerted on me to separate from her (on one hand, I was strongly encouraged to move to Soest, but on the other, it was evident that my life partner was not welcome in Soest). My life partner with her "too Slavic face" clearly also marred the cityscape of Soest.
In the so-called "Urgent Lettter," refugees are also unsubstantiatedly associated with criminality: "Police and municipal regulatory authorities increasingly have to intervene in 'incidents involving refugees'." What are these "incidents involving refugees"? The term "involvement" is a notably cautious phrasing – could it be that the police themselves induce these "incidents" through racial profiling? Could it be that these "incidents" aren't even crimes? Could it be that refugees are wrongly accused by some "witness" simply because they happen to be refugees and thus are presumed to be potential suspects? And what exactly constitutes an "incident"? Is it a genuine criminal offense? A suspicion that the police investigated? Is it the preventive engagement with groups, for instance, those congregating in the train station square, without there being a concrete threat posed by these groups?
The mayor continues to claim a "significant increase in crime in Soest" and, once again, unsubstantiatedly attributes it to refugees. However, it is not specified which crimes allegedly increased to what extent, and how often refugees were demonstrably involved in these crimes and subsequently prosecuted.
It is also highly indicative that the mayor, who is also the President of the Municipal Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (Städte- und Gemeindebund NRW), had significant portions of this "Urgent Letter" published by the Soester Anzeiger. This publication ahead of the minister's visit to Soest objectively was not necessary, but it was evidently done for political reasons. In my view, this reason is clearly discernible from the framing of refugees as described above: The public is being incited against refugees, with the aim of reclaiming Soest for "bio-German" Soest residents and ridding the beautiful cityscape of Soest of what is perceived as culturally inferior elements. In my assessment, this is a racist and right-wing populist political agenda that is openly on display. This, in turn, validates that the racism and homophobia my life partner and I experienced in Soest were not regrettable exceptions but, at least in parts of the City Council, a political program.
After the so-called "Urgent Letter" ," the Soester Anzeiger also extensively covered news related to refugees. However, upon closer examination of the reports in the Soester Anzeiger, there is hardly anything substantial to report. For example, there are reports of a bicycle theft or the theft of a wallet, both minor offenses for which there would likely be no newspaper coverage if they had been committed by a German.
Now, the police also felt compelled to conduct targeted checks at the train station. However, even their press releases are vague. Here is an
example with my annotations in [...]:
Controls at Soest Train Station: Federal Police File Five Criminal Complaints The Federal Police have their sights set on Soest Train
Station. Date: April 17, 2023, 7:18 PM
During an operation at Soest Train Station on Friday, the Federal Police initiated six criminal proceedings.
Soest – On Friday, April 14th, the Federal Police once again targeted Soest Train Station. According to a statement from the law enforcement agency, the previous major operation conducted two weeks ago, in collaboration with the Soest Police, had yielded "many insights." [What insights were gained?]
Soest Train Station remains under the scrutiny of law enforcement.
On Friday, five criminal proceedings were reportedly initiated for the unlawful possession of narcotics. [What drugs and how much were seized? What were the nationalities of the five alleged offenders? Can it be inferred from the later mention of an Algerian and a Somali that the other three were Germans?] A 24-year-old Somali and an 18-year-old Algerian were observed engaging in narcotics trafficking. [Were they observed? Were narcotics seized? If so, what narcotics and how much? Are we talking about a small amount of cannabis or significant quantities of hard drugs? Can it be inferred from the fact that it is not mentioned that the Algerian and Somali reside in the ZUE that they do not?]
According to the statement, the Algerian is said to have threatened civilian police officers with death. [How credible was the threat? Did he simply use aggressive language, or did he, for example, threaten with a knife?]
A 35-year-old Eritrean was arrested because there was an arrest warrant from the Paderborn Public Prosecutor's Office against him. [He apparently has no connection to the ZUE in Soest but resides in the jurisdiction of the Paderborn Public Prosecutor's Office.]
There was still an outstanding fine of 610 euros from a conviction for trespassing. [He did not threaten passersby at the train station but simply failed to pay a fine.]
By paying the fine, the man was able to avoid the looming substitute custodial sentence of 61 days.
Officers confiscated a hunting knife, which was readily accessible and carried in the waistband of a 15-year-old. [It appears that this individual is German, as otherwise, the police would likely disclose their nationality. However, this case is indeed concerning.]
The teenager was handed over to their legal guardians, it is reported. Furthermore, two residence investigations were initiated by the public prosecutors.
[Overall, it is worth noting that apparently none of the individuals against whom criminal complaints were filed were residents of the
The members of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen faction did not, after the so-called "Urgent Letter," rally behind their publicly attacked minister as one might expect. They did not distance themselves from the mayor's deplorable language and narratives, which strongly contradict their party's core values on a national level. On the contrary, they hopped on the mayor's bandwagon and conducted a city tour to assess the "security situation" in Soest for themselves. They even used some of the same narratives. They also, for example, spoke of "effects on the cityscape."
The passage about Theodor-Heuss Park was particularly disturbing to me: "Families play with their children here. As the evening progresses, people with a migrant background also come to the park, but there is no sense of insecurity." How do the Greens recognize people with a migrant background? Let's not kid ourselves; it's probably based on skin color. However, many people with non-white skin have been German citizens for decades. This creates the impression that the sense of security is not compromised when people with a migrant background are present in the park, insinuating that people with a migrant background are usually a source of danger. Moreover, it sets up a dichotomy between families and people with a migrant background. Were there no family members with a migrant background among these families? How did the Greens determine that there were no family members with an immigration history present?
Following the so-called "Urgent Letter" from the mayor, I immediately voiced my concern that this deplorable language and these reprehensible narratives would trigger the AfD (Alternative for Germany) party. And that's exactly what happened. On July 21, 2023, the AfD held a demonstration. According to the Soester Anzeiger of July 14, 2023, their intention with the demonstration was to support the mayor: "He stated that the rally at 2 p.m. would primarily focus on the ZUE situation in Soest. 'The mayor is being abandoned by the state government,' said Höing."
It was only then that the faction of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, which had, by the way, actively participated in almost everything that has happened to us in Soest, sprang into action and organized a counter-demonstration. Jutta Maybaum, the deputy mayor, explained that they wanted to send a message
that human dignity is inviolable. In response, I publicly asked: "Does it take the AfD to be involved for the Soest Greens to recognize and not even adopt
xenophobic and racist language and politics?"
Only the SPD faction participated in this demonstration, while the CDU, FDP, BG, and SO did not.
On August 26, 2023, the CDU wrote a letter to Minister Faeser. While the language in this letter may not be the same, it does align with the narratives. For example, it creates the impression that the residents are responsible for the increase in shoplifting. However, the police do not confirm this connection.
Similarly, it insinuates that the increase in physical assaults on ZUE residents can be attributed to them. When closely examining the CDU's letter, it becomes apparent that the police and police statistics only confirm that these incidents have increased but do not establish a direct link to the ZUE. As described above, despite frequent reporting by the Soester Anzeiger, there are hardly any serious crimes attributed to ZUE residents to report.
The CDU's letter also emphasizes the demand for swift repatriation. Here are some facts to consider: by the end of 2022, there were over 3 million refugees in Germany. Out of the total 304,308 foreigners in Germany subject to deportation, 248,145 were tolerated (with temporary suspension of deportation). Therefore, at most, only 56,000 people can be deported, which is less than 2% of the refugees currently living in Germany. This issue is being inflated for populist reasons. Furthermore, it should be noted that deportations are primarily hindered by the countries of origin, not the current government. Even during the 16-year tenure of the CDU in government, they failed to secure readmission agreements with these countries.
I believe that more citizens are turning to the CDU and expressing that they no longer feel safe. However, the question is whether they fear a real threat posed by ZUE residents or whether at least part of this fear is subjective, possibly exacerbated by the clickbait orientated reporting of
the Soester Anzeiger and political rhetoric aimed at stoking fear.
The Understanding of the Rule of Law and the State by Dr. Limbach, Minister of Justice in North Rhine-Westphalia
Above, I have criticized the (General) Public Prosecutor's Office, which is subject to the directives of the Minister of Justice.
In the proceedings against the Mayor, the Chairpersons of the Administrative Council, and others, I have criticized that:
- The Chief Public Prosecutor took the calculation of the statute of limitations for filing a criminal complaint into his own hands, only to later base the decision to dismiss the case on an obviously miscalculated statute of limitations.
- Approved access to the case files was fulfilled only partially. Initially, the General Public Prosecutor's Office denied the existence of more documents than those handed over, and the complete files were only provided after two complaints were filed with the Ministry of Justice.
- The General Public Prosecutor's Office did not process my complaint for 14 months and only took action after I submitted a petition to the state parliament out of fear that the proceedings were intentionally delayed until the statute of limitations expired.
- The Public Prosecutor's Office did not even initiate an investigation.
- The reasons for dismissing the case, in my opinion, are absurd, and these grounds for dismissal were not provided with any explanation. It was not clarified why the deadline for filing the criminal complaint should have expired, why the lies from the 2020 non-reelection campaign should have become statute-barred by 2021, and why these lies should only be exaggerations and subjective opinions about my performance rather than factual allegations. In my view, all of this is nonsense, so it does not surprise me that the (General) Public Prosecutor's Office did not even attempt to provide a justification.
In the case involving the temporary employee, I have criticized that:
- No investigations were initiated in this case either.
- The case was dismissed on the grounds of allegedly lacking public interest, even though it concerned the retrospective legitimization of a public council decision (my non-reelection). There were indications that the temporary employee had been manipulated by the Mayor, and there were also allegations of coercion.
- The justification for the grounds of dismissal was missing here as well, specifically why there was supposedly no public interest.
Furthermore, I criticized the Public Prosecutor's Office for not initiating proceedings for coercion and party betrayal against the in-house counsel of the "corporate" City of Soest, despite having knowledge of his threats during the criminal proceedings against the temporary employee.
Lastly, there is another criminal complaint from me that has remained unprocessed since December 2022.
I informed the Minister of Justice on the day of his appointment and repeatedly urged him to instruct his Public Prosecutor's Office to finally take action and to take measures to interrupt the statute of limitations.
All of this, in my firm belief, is happening to protect the Mayor from prosecution, political consequences, and the City of Soest from substantial damage claims.
Now, it turns out that Dr. Limbach's understanding of the rule of law and the state is subject to critical evaluation not only in my case. In October 2023, he is facing severe criticism for attempting to disempower the Cum-Ex Chief Public Prosecutor Brorhilker and for withholding documents for the Hamburg Cum-Ex Inquiry Committee for about a year, leading to the impression that he is trying to shield the Federal Chancellor from prosecution and political consequences. He is also facing criticism for retroactively including and proposing a friend for the position of President of the Higher Administrative Court in the application process. Two courts have since halted this, and one court has not only described Dr. Limbach's actions as "deficient" and "impermissible" but also as "manipulative" and "unlawful."
I do see parallels in all of these events and characterize them as a form of political justice carried out in the manner of a feudal lord. I am convinced that these actions seriously damage confidence in the rule of law, and I believe that Dr. Limbach's resignation is urgently required to restore that trust.