German official ousted over outing threat

BY admin

August 19 2003 11:00 PM ET

The founder of a law-and-order party that swept into Hamburg government in 2001 was fired as the city's top law enforcement official Tuesday over allegations that he threatened to expose a purported gay affair by the mayor. Mayor Ole von Beust, a Christian Democrat, said he relieved Ronald Schill of his job after the interior minister, during a conversation Tuesday morning, threatened to claim in public that the mayor had a relationship with city justice minister Roger Kusch. "His claim is false, and the threat is outrageous," Von Beust said in a statement. "I have known Dr. Kusch for 25 years, since university; we are good personal friends."

Schill denied threatening the mayor. He said he only drew a comparison between conflict of interest allegations against Schill deputy Walter Wellinghausen, whom Beust removed from office Tuesday, and the mayor's alleged mixing of public and private lives. "It goes against my feeling of justice to a considerable degree when there are two similar situations measured in two different ways," said Schill, a former judge known for his tough sentencing.

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