Disciplinary proceedings have now begun at state broadcaster CyBC, it emerged on Thursday, as the director general Thanasis Tsokos has finally appeared and received a letter from the interior ministry to inform him of the procedure.

Tsokos faces several allegations that involve abuse of power and financial mismanagement at the semi-governmental organisation.

CyBC has already communicated to the investigating officer all the documents in which the relevant complaints and allegations are identified for examination.

Furthermore, the board of CyBC will convene extraordinarily on Friday to vote on suspending Tsokos and then appoint an acting director general in his place, to ensure continuity.

If the appointment of a deputy director is not feasible, as long as Tsokos is out of the picture, then the board is expected to approach the interior minister to take the relevant decision and fill the vacancy.

A decision was made by the cabinet for a disciplinary investigation into Tsokos on April 30, 2024.

The permanent secretary of the deputy ministry of culture, Emmanuella Lambrianidou, was named as the officer appointed to investigate the claims against Tsokos.

The cabinet had to get directly involved with the case in appointing an investigating officer. That’s because, under the rules, a civil servant can only be subject to a disciplinary probe run by a civil servant who has seniority.

Since Tsokos was the most senior in CyBC, the organisation could not appoint an in-house investigating officer. Tsokos is on the A15 pay grade, meaning only someone on the A16 pay grade may investigate him. Permanent secretaries of ministries, on the A16 grade, fit the bill.

Some of the allegations Tsokos faces include wasteful spending, such as for outsourcing services (like film editing) which the CyBC could have done in-house, dubious selection of an external company to provide services to the state broadcaster, frequently holding expensive public events at the CyBC premises, personal excessive use of the service car, and irregularities relating to the work roster in the sports department.

Earlier, Tsokos had ‘gone missing’ when the investigating officer attempted to deliver to him the summons to appear at the disciplinary proceedings. Eventually Tsokos let people know that he had fallen ill with Covid, and that he’d be on sick leave until May 24.