Ironically, the investigation started when Elksniņš posed for a photo at a roadshow being staged by Re:Baltica in Daugavpils. He was casually dressed – to put it mildly – but his choice of footwear attracted the attention of an eagle-eyed commentator who pointed out that his sneakers appeared to be from high-end Italian fashion brand Zegna, with a retail value of more than 900 euros – roughly half of what a mayor of Daugavpils collects as a wage (2,200 euros before taxes).
That prompted Re:Baltica to scrutinize photos of the well-heeled mayor on his various social media accounts, many of which revealed a decided taste for luxury labels in general and Zegna in particular. His brand loyalty extends to a 740 euro Zegna polo shirt, a 2,500 euro Zegna winter coat and a very modest-looking Zegna cotton shirt which would resemble something you might find in an army surplus store were it not for the nearly 600 euro price tag.
The mayor's Zegna-mania serve as a launchpad for a wider investigation that asks how he and his wife manage to live a lavish luxury lifestyle – including a 30,000 Ulysse Nardin timepiece – on the modest means provided by a Latvian municipal wage, which you can read at the Re:Baltica website.
Asked to explain how he could afford such expensive raiment, Elksniņš declined to comment, merely stating that everything was in order, before offering to take off his trousers.