Kohtla-Järve mayor calls for deputy mayors suspected of bribery to resign
Mayor of the Ida-Viru County town of Kohtla-Järve, Toomas Nael (Ühtne Jõhvi electoral list), is seeking the resignation of two deputy mayors embroiled in a corruption scandal which came to light in the city and its environs last week.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Nale said he had asked Vitaly Borodin and Evelyn Danilov to submit their resignations and an answer from both of them by noon tomorrow, Tuesday, at the latest.
The mayor added that he condemns all forms of corruption and said the recent revelations are harming the city's image.
Last Tuesday, the Police and Border Guard Board detained businessman Nikolai Ossipenko and eight others on suspicion of the giving and taking of bribes and of influence peddling.
Among those detained included the two deputy mayors, council chair, Tiit Lillemets (Center) and deputy mayor Aljona Kazakova (Center), as well as two business associates of Ossipenko.
Politicians from both the Center Party and the Reform Party, as well as at least one local electoral alliance, were among those detained.
All detainees were released last week after a court declined to give permission for their full arrest, requested by the Prosecutor's Office.
Ossipenko himself allegedly in effect runs the city and the surrounding area, so far as contracts for a variety of services as diverse as road maintenance and cemetery care, making involvement in business in the town of 33,000 impossible without getting caught up in local politics, and vice versa.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte