Committee of Architecture Chairman arrested after searches in Chebarkul City Hall
Local media tend to link the actions of security officials with another criminal case, namely the transfer of city utility companies’ property.
Officers of the FSB and the Investigative Committee for the Chelyabinsk region have conducted searches and seized documents from the Chebarkul City Hall. Based on the results, ICR press service reported about the detention of the Chairman of the Committee of Architecture and Urban Planning under the Chebarkul Municipality Administration Sergey Shatsky. He is suspected of Bribe-Taking (part 3 of Art. 290 of the Russian Criminal Code). According to investigators, the official had received 20 thousand rubles from an interested party for voting in favor of land plot sale at a meeting of the interdepartmental commission for the selection of land plots and construction facilities placement.
Although, local media believe that the searches in the Chebarkul City Hall are associated with the machinations during the transfer of city utility companies’ property. According to the City Mayor Sergey Kovrigin, investigators have taken interest in the documents on the case of the former Head of the Municipal Property Department Radik Sabirov, who had been arrested in July on suspicion of bribe-taking. In 2016, the suspect received a bribe in the amount of 140 thousand rubles for committing unlawful acts on registration of land ownership in favor of third parties. The former official has begun cooperating in the investigation, testifying against a number of administration and cadastral chamber employees. He has also said that 20 thousand out of 140 thousand rubles had been meant for Shatsky.
In addition, searches have been conducted in the office of the former Deputy Head of Municipal Economy Oleg Solovyov, subject to prosecution for receiving a bribe of 15 thousand rubles as payment of an administrative fine by commercial structure.
According to Ura.ru, apart from the City Hall, security forces have conducted searches and seizures of documents in Solovyov’s rented apartment and in the homes of the founders of several utility companies, who are considered close to the Chebarkul Mayor Sergey Kovrigin and his friend, the former Prosecutor of Kopeysk Dmitry Pikelny. Allegedly, this is about a check on the transaction for the transfer of all utility networks to companies friendly to city leaders.
Utility networks of Chebarkulvodokanal LLC have been transferred to the newly created Chebarkulgorvodokanal Limited Liability Company. Former FSB officer Igor Kalinenko acquired 60% stake in the company in March 2015. The company General Director Evgeny Borodin owns the remaining 40%. In autumn 2015, when Kovrigin became the City Mayor, people concerned started splitting the company once again. According to Kalinenko, Borodin entered into an agreement with the new Mayor’s team. All company employees were transferred to the following new companies: Chebarkulskoe Predpriyatie Vodosnabzheniya (Chebarkul Water Supply Company) LLC and Chebarkulskoe Predpriyatie Kanalizatsii (Chebarkul Sewerage Company). The City Administration transferred the networks to Teplokom Municipal Unitary Enterprise, which, in turn, vested them into the possession of Borodin’s newly created companies. Although, it turned out that the networks were actually in the name of certain Elena Zhuravleva by 70%, who is considered the wife of the former Prosecutor of Kopeysk Dmitry Pikelny, a classmate of the Mayor Sergey Kovrigin. A criminal case has already been initiated against Borodin, who owns the remaining 15% in the companies.
The news agency notes that such schemes with communal enterprises had already been pulled off in Kopeysk.
Major general Igor Vasiliev, Head of the Engineering Support Service of the Federal Protection Service (FPS), and lieutenant general Ulitin subordinate to him are currently in the middle of a scandal. However, it is unlikely that they lose their posts. Reportedly, the two generals are just the tip of the huge corruption iceberg in the law enforcement structures. This is not the first embezzlement episode in their careers.