Politicians Stadskanaal stand firmly behind Mayor Klaas Sloots in question leaking councilor Reinders: ‘We are proud of you’

The faction leaders of Stadskanaal stand firmly behind their mayor Klaas Sloots. They call it “incomprehensible” that the Public Prosecution Service dismissed the criminal case against former councilor Anton Reinders. The council supports this criticism of the Public Prosecution Service.

This became apparent on Monday evening during the council meeting in Stadskanaal. Following a publication in Dagblad van het Noorden that the Public Prosecution Service will not prosecute former faction leader Anton Reinders, the council felt the need to express its support for Mayor Sloots.

It was also stated, through faction chairman Hans Klopstra, that the council had no understanding of the decision of the Public Prosecution Service not to bring the case to trial.

Secret information

Anton Reinders was accused by the mayor of leaking about drug checks at tanning salons. The mayor had shared this information at the end of 2021 in a secret meeting with the group leaders, of which Reinders belonged as a one-man faction.

Mayor Sloots filed a police report three weeks before the 2022 municipal elections. Reinders is said to have shared secret information with one of the entrepreneurs that such drug checks were imminent. But the Public Prosecution Service recently announced that they had not discovered any criminal offences: the information had also been shared in a non-secret meeting.

‘Trust broken’

Reinders himself has always said publicly that he warned the entrepreneur not to open during the corona period and that his app was about checks on the mandatory closure of shops during the corona period.

“Incomprehensible,” said Klopstra on behalf of the entire council on Monday evening, calling the Public Prosecution Service’s choice not to prosecute. The council believes that the now former colleague Reinders (he was not re-elected) has deeply damaged confidence in democracy. On behalf of all factions, Klopstra indicated that former councilor Reinders had “contributed to maintaining subversive activities and making it more difficult to combat them.”

According to Klopstra, the mayor does everything he can to be transparent about his performance and policy, but sometimes something cannot be made public. The faction leaders believe that Mayor Sloots did the right thing “in the context of transparency” to inform the residents of Stadskanaal via a press release. “Fortunately, you were not guided by the upcoming elections,” Klopstra said.

That is a point that the former councilor’s lawyer has doubts about. Making the declaration public, three weeks before the 2022 elections, would have been the political death knell for Reinders, lawyer Chris Pittau argued on behalf of his client.


Klopstra: “Trust also means being able to count on and build on each other. That you agree something with each other that everyone involved will adhere to the agreement. Every now and then there is a subject where the mayor would like to be open, but cannot do so.”

The council regrets that it did not go to court so that it could give an independent judgment. Especially because, according to Klopstra, Reinders confessed to the clerk and the mayor that he had sent a WhatsApp message shortly after the closed session and that he had apologized for this.

The role of the Public Prosecution Service is being criticized in this regard, as was evident from the contribution in the council meeting. According to all factions of the Stadskanaal council, the Public Prosecution Service should have let a judge make an independent judgment about “the special responsibility that a faction leader and a councilor have towards the voters and democracy”, said Klopstra, who called it a “major underestimation” by the Public Prosecution Service stated that it had not taken this into account.

Proud of mayor

The council fully supports Mayor Sloots and expressed full confidence in his actions. “You have integrity and you have demonstrated that you have a pioneering role in subversion. We are very proud of the way you do that. I think I speak for most of society.”

After these words on behalf of all factions, the council briefly deliberated. Mayor Sloots then indicated that VVD faction leader Klopstra had “brought the issue forward in a clear manner”. Sloots said that the council fully agrees with what politicians in Stadskanaal have said about this issue and, after the “statement of support”, indicated that as far as the council and the council are concerned, a line can be drawn under it.