High-ranking civil servant, Tartu City councilman have brushes with law, apologize on Facebook (1)

Raul Oreškin (reform.ee)
12/31/2014 9:36 AM
Category: Society

This week has not been a good one for politicians and their encounters with law enforcement.

Ministry of Culture Undersecretary Raul Oreškin has resigned from his post after being apprehended while attempting to steal 50 euros worth of items from a shop in Tartu.

Oreškin apologized on his Facebook page, adding that it was a foolish bet.

Oreškin, who earns around 3,400 euros gross each month, more than three times the national average, was caught on Monday stealing a bottle of wine, some ice cream and sun tan lotion.

He could face a short jail term or up to a 1,200-euro fine.

“He was big enough to admit his mistake and resign,” Culture Minister Urve Tiidus said, adding that Oreškin's resignation has been accepted.

Also in Tartu, Mihkel Lees, a city councilman and head of the Reform Party faction tested positive for alcohol in his system Saturday behind the wheel of an automobile, he said Tuesday.

On his Facebook page, Lees also apologized, saying that he had attended a party for a friend the night before, and that he blew 0.28 mg/deciliter (less than .01 percent blood content).

Lees said that it was not an excuse, and he would pay the resulting fine and step down as chairman of the Reform Party faction. Lees said nothing about resigning from the Tartu city council.

One cheeky commenter on the Facebook post said that Lees should have blamed the incident on a bet.

J.M. Laats, S. Abel

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