Secret love affair lands Brabant mayor in hot water: report
Mayor Berry Link of Geldrop-Mierlo is currently not performing his function due to a secret love affair with a municipal employee. On Saturday the party leaders in the city council "advised" Link to call in sick for the time being, advice the 53-year-old CDA mayor decided to take, Eindhovens Dagblad reports.
"This is a crisis in all kinds of areas", DGG leader Frans Stravers said to the newspaper, speaking on behalf of the city council. "His future as mayor becomes difficult. But firstly this about a person who has to deal with a crisis on the personal level. Only after that it becomes a question about the political consequences."
On Friday Link had a fight with his girlfriend. According to Stravers, this fight was serious enough that Link left their Geldrop home to go to an unknown destination. The police were called to find him, because of concerns about his emotional condition.
This fight likely had to do with a secret love affair Link had with a municipal employee. This affair came to the surface during a New Year's party on January 6th, when the mayor's girlfriend shouted at him about it in front of other municipal workers, Stravers said. Three days later the city council decided to launch a confidential investigation into the matter. The committee recently concluded that Link committed an integrity violation and gave him an official warning.
"If a mayor enters into a relationship with someone in the municipality, this is an integrity violation", Stravers said to the newspaper. "Then the question is which shade in the gray area that relationship was. At that time the relationship with the official seemed to be over. Confidence in him did take a dent, but the committees' conclusion was: a yellow card, but not bad enough for a breach of trust." After Friday's escalation, the committee will again look into the matter.
The party leaders in the city council had an emergency meeting on Saturday afternoon, not about whether Link will stay on as mayor, but to decide how to proceed in the meantime. For the time being, Link's duties will be handled by CDA alderman and deputy mayor Mark Jeucken.