Siemens exec relieved of duties after arrest


MUNICH, Germany -- Siemens executive Johannes Feldmayer was temporarily relieved of his duties at the company Wednesday following his arrest in connection with an investigation of alleged payments to the head of a labor union, Siemens said.

Feldmayer asked to be excused from his responsibilities as the member of the management board responsible for information technology services, real estate, and building technologies divisions, the company said in a statement.

He asked to be relieved "temporarily of his obligations and business duties on account of his current personal situation," Siemens AG said.

Feldmayer was detained by police Tuesday as part of an investigation into payments from the company to the head of the AUB labor organization, Wilhelm Schelsky, after investigators raided offices in Munich, Erlangen and Nuremberg.

Siemens has refused to release the name of Feldmayer's attorney and Feldmayer in custody and could not be reached for comment.

Schelsky, the former head of the company's works council and founder of the small, independent AUB labor union, was arrested last month in connection with searches at Siemens and the union.

The investigation, launched by Nuremberg prosecutors, is linked to suspicious payments to Schelsky of at least 14 million euros ($18.7 million) over the past five years. Siemens confirmed that Schelsky had received such payments.

Feldmayer, 50, has been a member of Siemens' management board for nearly four years.

Siemens has been plagued recently by separate corruption allegations, prompting Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld to hire an outside anti-corruption expert and a law firm to examine and revise the company's safeguards.

Siemens shares closed down 2.27% to 79.38 euros ($105.57) in Frankfurt trading Wednesday.