Deemed ‘incompatible’ and accused of abuse of office, the head of Romania’s public radio and its Board have been dismissed after Parliament rejected the company’s reports.

Early last week, the President of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society (Societatea Română de Radiodifuziune – SRR), Ovidiu Miculescu, was dismissed together with twelve members of the Board of Directors.

The joint Parliamentary plenary rejected two activity reports for the years 2015-2016, even though the public radio station had registered high audience ratings and had made a profit during that time. The rejection of the reports, by law, automatically led to Miculescu’s and the Board’s dismissal.

Head of the public radio since 2012, Miculescu and four other members of the Board of Directors have been tried since last year by the Prosecutor’s Office for committing abuse of office and for having conflict of interest.

From the evidence in question, until the moment of the criminal prosecution, it turned out that during the period July 2011 – January 2014, they participated in decision-making at the meetings of the Board of Directors of the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society, following to which several service contracts have been concluded, according to which they have illegally obtained patrimonial benefits in the total amount of about 400,000 lei, the legal report reads.

In 2013, the National Integrity Agency (ANI) also established that Miculescu was incompatible between June 2010 and July 2012 as he was simultaneously the President and a member of the public radio station’s Board of Directors.

On February 15, the media organisation ActiveWatch informed Parliament about Miculescu’s incompatibility, asking it to restore legality. After four years of trial, the High Court of Cassation and Justice has only now confirmed his dismissal but Miculescu has not expressed his opinions on the matter. According to news reports, the court has also banned Miculescu from occupying public positions for three years.

The Social Democrat (PSD) Georgica Severin has now been appointed the interim director of SRR although he has received criticism from the “big tent” party Save Romania Union (USR), which defined his appointment as “political”. The term of the interim could potentially run for 6 months or more.

Header image: Parliament building Bucharest. Credits: Les Haines/Creative Commons