Riga mayor promises reforms at municipal housing manager

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Riga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) promises reforms in the Riga housing management company Rīgas Namu Pārvaldnieks (RNP), he said appearing on LTV June 7.

That may include firing some of the existing employees or rotating them to new positions, said Ušakovs. His Harmony party and Honor to Serve Riga, which ran with a joint ballot, hold 32 out of 60 seats at the Riga City Council following the June 3 municipal elections.

Ušakovs also dismissed the State Audit Office claim that RNP had fictitiously employed twelve people and defrauded the company of €150,000 from March 2014 to April 2015. 

The housing management company had cut 822 employees since 2012, Ušakovs said, arguing that a number of departments were being closed at the time of the Audit Office probe. He appeared to be addressing the report that the department where people were allegedly awarded fake job contracts was shut down shortly after the probe started.

In April the people thought to have been awarded fake job contracts for work they did not actually do were charged with document forgery and, some of them, with fraud.

De Facto found that several of the employees at the department were linked to Harmony council members as well as MPs.

Furthermore, the wives of two Harmony members had been working at the shut-down department. 

Ušakovs insists the investigation is politicized. 

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