Mārupe mayor gets big fine for alleged abuse of office

Andrejs Ence (Latvian Association of Regions), Chairman of Mārupe Municipality Council, has received a substantial fine for abuse of office by illegally paying vacation compensation and could also lose his position in the local government, Latvian Television reports Tuesday, January 30.

Before the municipalities of Mārupe and Babīte were merged in 2021, as chairman of the then Babīte municipality Council and shareholder of the company Babīte Heat, Ence, dismissing a Member of the board of directors of Babīte Heat, decided to compensate him for his untaken leave – more than EUR 37,500.

Three years ago, Latvian Television already reported this, and Andrejs Ence explained the payment of the massive compensation as follows: "We had a board Member living and sleeping in the company. He didn't go on vacations, burned for the company! I couldn't force him away on vacation. He had accumulated 284 days of untaken leave over 10 years."

However, according to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB), the disbursement was illegal and criminal proceedings were initiated against Ence for alleged abuse of office, which has caused serious consequences.

On Tuesday, January 30, the Riga District Court found him guilty, imposed a fine of EUR 18,900, as well as deprived him of the right to hold official positions in state and local government institutions for two years. 

If the verdict comes into effect, Ence's post in the municipality will have to be vacated.

The politician said in a conversation with LTV that he disagrees with the court's decision and will decide on appealing it after receiving the full verdict.

The judgment may still be appealed to a court of second instance.

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