Geldrop-Mierlo mayor asked to “report sick”

Mayor Berry Link of Geldrop-Mierlo was advised by his council, to “call in sick” and remain at home. The reason: a secret love affair with a municipality employee.

According to Eindhoven’s Dagblad (ED), aldermen of Geldrop-Mierlo’s council “advised” Link to remain at home, for the time being.

Frank Stravers, leader of the local political DGG party, acts as council spokesperson. He stated to the press, the mayor is facing a personal crisis. The council offered him a time-out, to sort things out.

Some Dutch media report Link left his home after an argument with his girlfriend, Friday evening. Others mention a rather public telephone conversation taking place in the town-hall, followed by an argument at the mayor’s home.

Friday evening, the situation became serious enough for police to be asked to find the mayor. Apparently, there were serious concerns about his emotional welfare.

The secret affair became a public drama during a municipality New Year’s Party, according to Stravers. Three days later, the city council decided to launch a confidential investigation. The committee recently concluded, Link had committed an integrity violation.

Yet the council decided there was no reason for a breach of trust. Instead, it issued an official warning to its mayor, as the affair had apparently ended.

After Friday’s escalation, however, the council had an emergency meeting Saturday afternoon. The impression was, the mayor had not been totally honest about his relationship.

As Stravers put it “He has some explaining to do on a private and later a political level. … Not so long ago, the municipality tightened up its rules on integrity. A mayor breaching such rules is particularly painful. … A mayor and the town council, represent a town and are its public face.”

Saturday’s emergency meeting was used to reach an agreement on how to proceed. For the time being, CDA alderman and deputy-mayor Mark Jeucken takes over all Link’s duties.

Source: Studio 040

Translator: Kate

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