Tallinn sports department ex-chief Rein Ilves arrested

Rein Ilves.
Rein Ilves. Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Last Wednesday, the Central Criminal Police arrested longtime Tallinn Sports and Youth Department director Rein Ilves, who in December stepped down from his position due to other scandals, on corruption-related charges.

The procurements to lead to the charges involved, won by Ilves' nephew and classmate, cost Estonia's capital city over €1.3 million. Police arrested a second man in addition to Ilves as well, reported daily Postimees (link in Estonian).

The two men are accused of giving preferential treatment in procurements organized by Tallinn Sports and Youth Department.

Sports Department deputy director Ain Kivi, who had participated in the procurement, admitted that the police investigation did not come as a surprise to him, as he had already seen a city internal audit on the same subject.

Ilves' resignation in connection with costly court mistake

Last December, Ilves stepped down from his position as director of Tallinn's Sports and Youth Department. According to the Tallinn City Government, Ilves resigned voluntarily, and was to receive four months' severance pay.

Speaking at a city government press conference, Mayor Taavi Aas (Center) explained that Ilves' resignation was unrelated to an audit conducted at Tondiraba Sports Centre, but rather in connection with unprofessional conduct at a court hearing. "The responsible deputy mayor spoke with the department director and the director very clearly understood that this was his own mistake and decided to take responsibility for it," Aas said.

The mayor explained that the court hearing in question was one in which a claim was filed against the City of Tallinn in connection with Tondiraba Ice Hall. The sports center notified the city's Sports and Youth Department about the claim, however the department did not in turn inform the city's legal service, which resulted in the city's rights going undefended in court.

"The department did not pay attention to the claim, as a result of which the court ruled in absentia," the mayor added.

The claim was for €7,000, which together with associated legal fees cost the city a total of €10,000.

According to ERR's information, the Tallinn City Government was unsatisfied with Ilves' work and cited a number of shortcomings in various areas.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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