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Poznań. The zoo director allegedly violated the preventive measure

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Ewa Zgrabczyńska, who was detained by the police on Tuesday and faced prosecutor’s charges, allegedly violated one of the preventive measures and contacted one of the employees. The police were informed about the case.

The director of the Poznań Zoo, Ewa Zgrabczyńska, was detained on Monday and faced prosecutor’s charges regarding, among others, embezzlement of public money and property, inducing witnesses to give false testimony.

– Prosecutors applied so-called libertarian preventive measures, including a ban on approaching and staying in the zoo and a ban on serving as a director in this municipal entity, as well as a ban on contacting the zoo employees. Today we received information that one of these prohibitions was broken by Ms. Zgrabczyńska, so the police officers conducting the investigation are documenting this fact and then we will inform the prosecutor’s office about it – says junior inspector Andrzej Borowiak, press spokesman for the Wielkopolska Police.

The zoo director allegedly contacted one of the employees. If these allegations are confirmed, the prosecutor may decide to change preventive measures and decide to arrest the woman.

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Poznań. Ewa Zgrabczyńska was charged

The investigation into irregularities in the zoo is conducted by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań. As investigators said in a press release on Tuesday, “the proceedings were initiated upon a notification from an individual.” Based on extensive evidence – witness statements and disclosed documents – criminal charges were brought against Ewa Zgrabczyńska (she agreed to publish her data and image).

Read also: Investigation into irregularities at the Poznań zoo. The president after the inspection: there were a number of shortcomings

“Ewa Z. is suspected of exceeding the powers of a public official and acting to the detriment of the public interest, including fraud and misappropriation of property to the detriment of the City of Poznań and certifying untruths in the documentation. The charges also include concealing assets to the detriment of creditors. The prosecutor also accuses the suspect of this that, taking advantage of her position, she instructed a zoo employee to submit false testimony favorable to her,” informs the District Prosecutor’s Office in Poznań.

According to investigators, Ewa Zgrabczyńska, as director of the zoo in the years 2016-2024, showed mismanagement of at least PLN 100,000. She was also supposed to use the company car for private purposes, and the food, vaccines and medicines purchased for the zoo were to be allocated to the animals she owned. Zgrabczyńska also allegedly ordered a veterinarian employed at the zoo to perform medical procedures on her four raccoons and two dogs. According to investigators, she twice provided untruths in the zoo’s documentation.

New Zoo in PoznańTVN24

“Moreover, according to the collected evidence, the above-mentioned person acted to the detriment of her creditors by hiding funds from literary works that were at risk of being seized by bailiffs in another person’s bank account. Ewa Z., taking advantage of her dependence as the director of the Poznań Zoo, ordered an employee of this facility to submit false testimony and concealing the truth about irregularities known to the witness,” the Poznań prosecutor’s office said.

Ewa Zgrabczyńska pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to investigators, “she provided extensive explanations that are inconsistent with the evidence collected so far.” The prosecutor placed her under police supervision combined with a ban on contacting witnesses.

Zgrabczyńska was also suspended as director of the zoo and is banned from entering its premises for the duration of the proceedings.

She did not accept the notice

The mayor of Poznań, Jacek Jaśkowiak, commented on the detention of Ewa Zgrabczyńska on Tuesday. Quoted by the city’s official website, he said he “appreciated everything the zoo director did for the welfare of the animals, showing her big heart.” He also emphasized that “there can be no consent to breaking the law, we cannot accept abuses.”

The Poznań City Hall received the detailed content of the charges brought by the prosecutor’s office. “They are serious – that is why the mayor of Poznań decided to start the procedure of terminating the employment contract with the director of the zoo,” the press office of the Poznań City Hall reported on Tuesday evening.

After reviewing the documents, the Mayor of Poznań decided to start the procedure of terminating the employment contract with notice. “The direct cause is the loss of trust in the employee. The reason for this is the allegations made – so serious that their scale does not allow waiting for the final conclusion of the proceedings by the prosecutor’s office,” we read.

The attempt to deliver the notice turned out to be unsuccessful. The director of the zoo – according to the city office – refused to accept the documents, explaining that she was staying at… sick leave. “The President announced that he would check the validity of the issued exemption,” it was reported.

Proceedings concerning the possibility of committing a crime by the zoo management were initiated in July 2022, following a notification submitted by the Mayor of Poznań. From 2020 to date, six complaints against the garden director have been resolved.

“As a result of the inspections and supervisory activities carried out by the City in recent years, corrective actions have been introduced on an ongoing basis, as well as notifications about the possibility of committing a crime (directed to the competent authorities) or requests for punishment in cases of violation of public finance discipline,” we read in the announcement from the City Hall .

Ewa Zgrabczyńska’s duties as director were taken over by her deputy Anna Orchowska.

Author:mm, FC/gp, tok

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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