The supervisory board of city-owned public transport company Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS (TLT) on Friday appointed Andrei Novikov the third member of TLT's new management board. Novikov is resigning as deputy mayor of Tallinn and will be leaving the Center Party.
Novikov said that he has held various positions in the public sector for 17 years and wants to move on.
"In connection with me being elected board member at TLT, I will also be resigning as deputy mayor of Tallinn as well as leaving the Estonian Center Party," he said. "I will be submitting my resignation to the mayor seeking to be released from service effective mid-August. A more precise time and date will be determined by the end of next week, once the mayor has returned [from a trip abroad]."
Novikov has served as deputy mayor of Tallinn since 2017, where he was responsible for TLT's area of activity. Until now, he was also chairman of TLT's supervisory board.
Involved in scandal that took down previous board
On May 18, investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress (link in Estonian) published an expose detailing how TLT CEO Deniss Boroditš and board member Otto Popel had taken several international training trips on the City of Tallinn's dime, including the city paying for their plane tickets, hotels and per diems.
While not one of these trips has been relevant to Tallinn's public transport, Boroditš has nonetheless allowed for these bills — totaling €33,000-35,000 over two years — to be paid for out of TLT's budget, the paper said.
The city fired Boroditš and Popel that same day, with Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) saying that as the two board members' behavior was unacceptable to the city government, the latter could not possibly trust the public transport company's board anymore.
"We cannot trust board members incapable of seeing limits that I believe are obvious," the mayor said.
At the time he was fired, Boroditš was earning a monthly salary of €7,500 as CEO of TLT.
Novikov, meanwhile, told ERR at the time that he would not be resigning as deputy mayor, despite having been the one to agree to Boroditš' expenses.
In addition to serving as chair of the TLT's supervisory board at the time, the outgoing deputy mayor was likewise the city official to have concluded contracts with the two ex-board members.
Following the scandal, Tallinn city government opted to update regulations governing TLT board members' salaries and other benefits.
TLT board members' gross monthly salary has been set at €6,400, with an annual cap on training expenses equal to one month's salary and no car allowance.
Novikov will begin work on the TLT board this August. The term of the public transport company's board is set at five years.
Editor: Aili Vahtla