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Sunday 25.09.2016 | Name days: Rauls, Rodrigo
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Dissatisfied with street repairs, Ushakov dismisses Transport Department’s director

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter a meeting on 16 August on the progress on streets repairs in Riga, director of Riga City Council’s Transport Department Vitaly Reinbahs was dismissed from his post, as confirmed by Mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov on Twitter.com.

According to Ushakov, the decision about Reinbahs’ dismissal will be made in the near future. Once the construction season ends, decisions will be made in regards to accomplishments and failures of officials from other departments. Emils Jakrins has been appointed as acting head of the Transport Department.

«Work with builders continues as well – about the terms and work quality in general. We have many questions to ask, including questions related to the department’s quality of work. No major deviations from estimated terms for street repairs are expected. Most of the work will be completed before 1 September. We will publish the list of sections in which work is estimated to complete in mid-September tomorrow – after scheduled meeting with builders. In the absolute majority of all cases, however, this applies to side-walks, not the driveways,» the announcement mentions.

This decision does contradict the decision of 6 July, when the legislative initiative submitted to Riga City Council by the opposition in regards to Reinbahs’ dismissal in relation to the corruption scandal in his managed department was declined.

Opposition parties had organized an emergency meeting to decide on Reinbahs’ dismissal in relation to the search carried out in his office by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau in June. This search was carried out in relation to the Island Bridge procurement.

At the beginning of June, TV3 programme Nekā personīga reported that KNAB holds Reinbahs suspect of accepting a EUR 100,000 bribe in another case.

Four years ago, Rīgas satiksme chose a company associated with one of its employees, namely Aleksandr Brandavs, as part of a tender for the introduction of better shuttle bus services. The company that was chosen is Rīgas mikroautobusu satiksme. Competitors mentioned that Brandavs’ company offered an unjustifiably low tariff. Not all of the original promises were fulfilled in the end. Soon after, Riga City Council increased the public transport tariff three times to passengers.

KNAB has discovered that the previously organized tender for shuttle buses had been corrupted. KNAB had detailed Reinbahs in 2013 under suspicion that he had accepted bribes through a mediator in exchange for favourable decision in the shuttle bus tender. Reinbahs was prohibited from taking post in the Transport Department and travel outside of the country. Restrictions have since been lifted, but Reinbahs remains a suspect.

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