The City of Kohtla-Järve has lost a legal dispute with its former mayor, Jevgeni Solovjov. The Supreme Court of Estonia dismissed a lawsuit on Monday in which the city demanded €210,000 from Solovjov as compensation for damages caused. The former mayor was convicted in 2016 for the misappropriation of public property, among other offenses.
The city's administration appealed a decision of the administrative court earlier this year to dismiss the lawsuit, having found that it isn't within the city administration's purview to claim damages, and that instead the city council would have needed to do so.
Not only does the city lose the legal dispute, the Supreme Court also ordered it to pay €3,000 to Solovjov to cover his legal expenses. The city has already spent in excess of €10,000 on its own lawyers in the matter.
Commenting on the situation, Eduard Odinets of the local branch of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) commented that his group on the city council had been critical of the proceedings from the start. "Now the question is who is responsible for the sloppy management [of the case], and of course there's the question of the material damage done to the city."
Jevgeni Solovjov was found guilty of misappropriation of city property, violation of fair competition, forgery of documents, and abuse of official powers. He committed the crimes in question between 2006 and 2009. Solovjov resigned following his conviction.
In May 2018, the administration of Kothla-Järve filed a lawsuit seeking damages in the amount of €210,000 from Solovjov, who had previously stated that he had not caused any damage to the city, and that he was not going to pay anything.
Editor: Ksenia Fadina, Dario Cavegn