Rather, it is not true – the statement contains cryptic truths, but does not take into account relevant facts and / or context, so the statement is misleading or out of context
Former mayor of Riga and candidate for this position from the party It is an honor to serve Riga (GKR) Oleg Burov presented to the media with an offer for emergency council elections. He distanced himself from his previous political partners, the party Consistency. The waste of municipal money and possible corruption, which Burov gently calls unemployment, was not the responsibility of GKR, but the responsibility of S Harmonas:
“If we are talking about unemployment – either it is the activity of RNP, or Rīgas satiksme or the Traffic Department – then it was not our responsibility, it was the responsibility of our partners.”
Re:Check recalled the council’s biggest corruption scandals and concluded that Burov was misleading. Although for the most part the responsibility for corruption scandals lies with Harmony politicians, a number of GKR representatives are also involved and involved.
GKR was established in 2012. Since the 2013 elections, when both parties ran for the first time from one list, up to conflicts In 2019, the party was trustworthy Harmony partner. It has always defended itself Harmony and its leaders, in the vote of confidence in former Mayor Nil Ushakov, to sound reproaches on systematic corruption in municipal structures. GKR is still headed by former Deputy Mayor, now MEP Andris Ameriks.
Re:Check recalls the loudest things with the participation of GKR politicians and supporters.
Brandavs and minibuses
In the spring of 2019, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) detained Alexander Brandava, a member of GKR and a prominent sponsor, for alleged bribery and bribery mediation.
The KNAB investigation is related to the company Riga minibus traffic (RMS), in which Brandav was the beneficiary. Riga traffic concluded an agreement with RMS on passenger transportation in 2013 – already at that time the transaction was accompanied by suspicions of illegal activities. In 2017, the Competition Council of both companies punished for an unauthorized agreement in setting ticket prices.
In 2018, the company again won tender, although there were complaints and suspicions that the claims were made to a single tenderer. The term of the new contract is eight years, the amount is 96 million euros.
How to reported broadcast De facto, KNAB is also investigating the role that businessman Maris Martinson, who had recently been released from bail, could play in the Brandava case. The KNAB arrested him on suspicion of bribery and money laundering in connection with Riga traffic vehicle purchases. Martinsons, on the other hand, is a good acquaintance of the head of GKR and former deputy mayor of Riga Andris Amerikas, whose office was searched by KNAB at the end of 2018. America after that resigned from the position of vice mayor, explaining it as a threat to his reputation.
Brandavs, Vinnika and the map of Riga
During the detention, Brandavs, a member and donor of GKR, was also the head of the Electronic Payment Projects Department of Riga Satiksme (RS) and a member of the board of RS together with a private investor in the Riga Map. This company was later recognized as the largest “money extractor” by RS. Broadcast De facto last fall reported an audit that found that Maps of Riga The operation depended on two companies wholly or partly owned by Brandava and Andrejs Blažko, a partner at the time of GKR’s board member Irina Vinnika. For both companies Map of Riga paid € 76 million over five years. One of Blažko’s companies also won a tender for the renovation of municipally owned apartments for 12 million euros, which Burov promised ask for clarification. Over the years, this company had won also in several other RD competitions.
Burov: Such a character can be found in any party
KNAB Database shows that Brandavs has paid 101 thousand euros in GKR membership since 2012. One and a half months after Brandava was detained and released on bail by GKR stopped his activities in the party.
“Such a character can be found in any party,” Re:Check said Burov. Pointing to the fact that there are not many who have donated hundreds of thousands to the party, Burov replied that he was “absolutely independent” of Brandava and did not think that he had any influence on the party’s decisions. Burov himself did not contact Brandava and saw him only once a year at Easter in the Orthodox Church and the party congress – in both places Brandav led the choir.
Jermolovich and RTAB 300 thousand
In May 2019, KNAB detained another member of the GKR and a member of the board – the then head of the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) Vita Jermolovič. On April 5, the KNAB initiated criminal proceedings against RTAB officials for waste of budget funds, forgery of documents and use and fraud of forged documents.
The criminal proceedings were initiated after an audit by the State Audit Office, which revealed that several employees did not have a place of work on RTAB’s premises and had not been able to explain what they were doing and to whom. One of the people with whom the contract was terminated immediately afterwards was GKR deputy Andrejs Kameņeckis.
Jermolovich was detained for two days. Later media reported that funded through RTAB Harmony Saeima election campaign. To the fault of the partners Re:Check Burov also points out: “The question of who is to blame is whether the person who signed the document is guilty or the person who organized it.”
Riga House Manager and other things
Burov did not only mention “non-work” when the media talked about the event Riga traffic, but also Riga House Manager. It also found bogus employment and document forgery. The company worked under the supervision of Ushakov, and several of the fictitious employees were related With Harmony. However, they were employed in the company’s project development department, headed by GKR member Agnis Kalnkaziņš – he was also later charged. Miners shortly after Riga House Manager management decision to liquidate the Development Projects Division was then appointed by Mayor Ameriks Riga water board of directors.
Riga water At the time when Ameriks was the shareholder of the company, Ušakov’s wife and office manager Iveta Strautiņa-Ušakova were also employed for eight years.. De facto reported that at least in 2014, the Strautiņa-Ušakova contract provided for a remuneration of 1.5 thousand euros and that Strautiņa-Ušakova had to provide the company with 100 consultation hours per month. The contract was concluded despite the fact that she was employed full time in the council.
GKR ar Harmony there are other common features. For example, a show in late 2018 By the way reported that the association headed by the council deputy Mikhail Gavrilov (GKR) has received 25 thousand euros from the municipality. This was the only income of the society at that time. In this way, their party brought closer to the foundations of municipal money used to also Consistency.
Burov also talks to Re:Check tried to distance himself from the involvement of party members in corruption scandals, emphasizing the responsibility of Ushakov as the chairman of the city council, as well as pointing out that several involved, such as Vinnika and Kameneckis, have left GKR. “I want to change, we change, and I know what and how can change. And everything, “said Burov.
Conclusion: Since 2013, when GKR and Consistency Riga City Council started in one list, the main participants in the biggest municipal corruption scandals were the leaders of Riga Mayor Ušakovs Harmony politicians and those close to them. However, in a number of cases, GKR representatives were also involved or actively involved. GKR also did not take action against its partners when many scandals came to light one after the other, on the contrary, defended them. Consequently, there is no reason to say that the “unemployment” worked in the City Council is only Harmony responsibility.