Headquarters in a 30-story office building in the center of Warsaw, increased salaries by the president, status on a par with deputy ministers – under such conditions, according to the findings of “Gazeta Wyborcza”, members of the National Commission for Pedophilia are to work. The journalists say that “the institution is paralyzed”, and the person who “actually rules” the committee is Barbara Chrobak, deputy chairman, who is supposed to introduce “an atmosphere of terror” there.
The pedophilia commission was established by a law that entered into force in September 2019. Its creation had been announced earlier by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki after the screening of the film by the brothers Tomasz and Marek Sekielski, “Just don’t tell anyone”. The members of the commission took the oath in July 2020. The commission is composed of seven members representing: the Sejm, Senate, the president, prime minister and the Ombudsman for Children. In December, the chairman, Błażej Kmieciak, informed that by that time the commission had referred 20 cases concerning pedophilia offenses to the prosecutor’s office.
The commission has recently conducted proceedings on the case of Father Andrzej Dymer. However, on February 17, she ended them due to the death of the priest. He was accused of sexual abuse of minors. Szczecin bishops were supposed to know about his deeds already in the mid-90s of the last century.
Increasing the salaries of commission members
Tuesday’s “Gazeta Wyborcza” writes about working conditions, as well as the earnings of members of this commission.
He reports that on December 3, 2020, Błażej Kmieciak asked the president to “include members of the commission in amendments to the act on the remuneration of persons holding state leadership positions”. He was supposed to explain this by saying that “members of the commission were assigned the status of persons on an equal footing with secretaries of state,” that is, deputy ministers.
“On December 30, Duda issued an ordinance including the commission to the salary group of secretaries of state. Now each of them earns PLN 12,650. Plus functional benefits. How high? It is not known. There are also official apartments (for people from outside Warsaw) and company cars – one of them takes the chairman home every day, 110 km from Warsaw. The other is at the exclusive disposal of “Minister Chrobak”, which – according to our sources – changed its internal regulations especially for this purpose “- the daily continues. Mentioned Barbara Chrobak is Kmieciak’s deputy as chairman of the committee. “Wyborcza” notes that Chrobak was a member of Kukiz’15 in the last term of the Sejm, and in 2020 joined Zbigniew Ziobro’s Solidarity Poland.
“The cost of renting a luxury headquarters may therefore reach PLN 1.5 million per year”
The newspaper also describes in detail the conditions under which the commission works. “The seat of the commission is on the 12th floor in the Spektrum Tower at 18 Twarda Street. It is a 30-storey office building in the center of the capital with panoramic elevators and a five-storey underground garage. The monthly rent is around EUR 25 per square meter” – we read.
“The floor area is about 850 sq m, so the rent can reach PLN 80 thousand per month. You pay EUR 185 per garage for a garage. The cost of renting a luxury headquarters can reach PLN 1.5 million per year” – the daily continues.
In the commentary, he writes about “Byzantium in the commission for pedophilia.”
MPs not allowed to scrutinize
On Friday, MPs from the Civic Coalition Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, Katarzyna Piekarska and Dariusz Joński were not allowed into the seat of the pedophilia committee, where they intended to conduct a parliamentary control. Documentation has not been made available to them.
“This committee has a budget of PLN 12 million a year. We wanted to know what it does for the money. We heard that the committee was independent and we could not enter. We explained that it was independent in its actions and decisions, but as an office appointed by the Sejm, it must be subject to control “- said MP Joński, quoted by” Wyborcza “.
“If they want to see the documents, I do not agree”
Chairman Błażej Kmieciak referred to the case on Friday in the program “Check” on TVN24. As he underlined, the commission is not a “government institution”. – We are not a ministry for pedophilia, nor are we a local government organization or a state-owned company. We are a state body independent of other authorities, which is in fact a quasi-court in matters of explanatory proceedings, he said.
Kmieciak also assured that “if any MP and senator, regardless of political colors, wants to talk about supporting the victims or how we help the injured, there is no problem at all”.
The chairman of the committee also referred to the MPs’ announcements that on Tuesday they would try to carry out parliamentary control again.
– If they want to see the documents, I don’t agree. Not because I am so bad, not good, (…) I want to protect people who trusted us. The more than 100 cases we conduct concern the most intimate issues and the political show that one politician wants to do does not impress me, because we are not called for politicians, but for those who suffer – Kmieciak continued.
Later in the article, “Wyborcza” informs that “a few days ago” people working in the committee came to its editorial office.
“In their opinion, ‘the institution is paralyzed’, and the person who ‘really rules’ in the committee is Barbara Chrobak. The former MP Kukiz’15, called the ‘minister’, is one of the most significant figures in the system created by the Ziobro & Święczkowski, “the newspaper writes, citing its interlocutors from the committee.
“Atmosphere of Terror”
The journal then lists her professional biography.
“She started her career as an official in the structures of the Katowice appellate prosecutor’s office, where she met Święczkowski. She is the deputy head of the Trade Union of Prosecutors and Employees of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Poland, an organization associating prosecutors entrusted to the present power. The members of this association conduct investigations that are most important to the authorities. They can count on promotions and awards. According to our interlocutors from the commission, Barbara Chrobak introduced an ‘atmosphere of terror’ on Twarda Street, “Wyborcza” continues.
Presenting this information, the newspaper refers to an anonymous note submitted to the editorial office by the informants.
They claim that “at the moment there is no 80% of the Administration and Finance Office (they are on layoffs or have submitted their terminations).”
“Office employees are mobbed, they cannot talk to each other, they must dress as the Commission wishes, they cannot eat or laugh together. Communication during meals is forbidden, even in designated rooms” – he continues with the content of the note.
“I personally interfere in equipment purchases”
Elsewhere, informants describe that “Mrs. Chrobak sent home a secretary’s employee, demanding that she change into a different outfit”. Staff photos were taken showing how she was dressed.
“Wyborcza” writes that “according to the interlocutors from the commission, the ‘minister’ personally interferes in the purchase of equipment, demanding better furniture and Apple phones instead of Samsung’s supplied by the government administration.” “He is also supposed to abuse the commission’s car,” we read.
“Ms. Barbara Chrobak uses a company car for private purposes. Mileage 2 thousand km per week. Ms. Chrobak ordered to drive home near Wrocław and back, despite the fact that she has a business flat in Warsaw provided by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. . 8 point 3 of the Regulations of the Committee “- the informants write, adding a copy of the amended regulations.
Main photo source: Mateusz Marek / PAP