End of Garanin’s era. One of richest mayors of Kuzbass accused of budget swindle
Another Kuzbass official became a defendant in a criminal case. Last week the Investigative Committee distributed information that the former Mayor of Prokopyevsk Valery Garanin is accused of abuse of official powers. Two months before Garanin resigned with the official formulation “for health reasons”.
As a rule, officials of such level in the Kemerovo Region resign in two cases – either a possibility of increase looms in front of them or perspective to answer the questions of investigators appeared. As for Garanin's resignation - on the one hand, the official was a member of the Governor Tuleyev’s team for more than ten years and served him faithfully, on the other hand - law enforcement agencies several times collected compromising evidences against the city's mayor, but they have never been used. Valery Garanin ruled the miner's city for 17 years and by right was considered as one of mayors-long-livers. At the moment, there were only two city's mayors, who remained sitting in their chairs for more than 10 years in the region. Those are the Head of the Tashtagol district Vladimir Makuta and the Mayor of Kiselyovsk Sergey Lavrentyev. While several years ago there were much more such figures in the Kuzbass policy.
From 2000 to 2010 Ivan Dikalo was the Head of the Mariinsky area and after his leaving the district’s management was left in chaos – Aleksander Stanovkin remained a head for about two years, then resigned for health reasons and later committed suicide in 2012. Following the Head Vladimir Lapin was supervising the area for three years and was removed with the formulation “in connection with loss of trust”.
From 1999 to 2010 the Myski’s administration was headed by Yury Toropov. For this period he was re-elected as the Mayor three times. Everything went well until he was accused of sale of “10 km of city networks to his own wife” on distress price. After that two of his successors − Andrey Belnitsky and Mikhail Chernyak – also finished their careers in the Administration by corruption affairs.
In April, 2010 the Head of Novokuznetsk Sergey Martin heading the city since 1997 retired “for health reasons”. Martin's leaving for many was unexpected, but explainable. It became clear that within the regional program for fight against corruption, frauds in the sphere of city housing and public utilities were revealed, where among others participated the official’s son.
In December of the same 2010 “due to a job change” resignation of the Mayor of Mezhdurechensk Sergey Scherbakov was accepted. He became the Head of the Administration of the city in 1991 and after that was re-elected on this post three times. Scherbakov's successor Vadim Shamonin was dismissed in 2015 with the formulation “in connection with loss of trust”.
In 2012 the Head of Kemerovo Vladimir Mikhaylov was resigned from the post, which he held since 1991. It was reported that he repeatedly asked an area management about the resignation for health reasons. For half a year prior to his 70 anniversary Mikhaylov resigned from the post of the Mayor. Valery Ermakov, who took the power after and who disorganized everything that was adjusted in the city by his predecessor practically in a year (first of all, roads), this year was unexpectedly for all dismissed in connection with retirement.
The former Mayor of Prokopyevsk Valery Garanin
It is easy to notice that most of former heads were caught on violation of the law. And Valery Garanin did not become an exception. Literally, in one and a half months after farewell with the position and touching speech with respect thereto, it turned out that investigating bodies of the Investigative Committee of Russia in the Kemerovo Region accused the former Head of the city of crime execution provided by part 2 Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Abuse of Official Powers). The crime was revealed by the staff of the Federal Security Service (FSB). According to the investigators, the official, acting for the benefit of his acquaintance, gave an order on acquisition of his apartment at the expense of budgetary funds in 2010. 2 million 400 thousand rubles from the city budget were transferred to her bank account. It is remarkable that market value of this apartment made 1 million 395 thousand rubles. As a result of wrongful acts of the official the damage on the amount of more than 1 million rubles was caused to the city budget. Measure of restraint to the ex-official has not been chosen yet, however he is forbidden to leave Russia even due to treatment (the city's Mayor left in September “for health reasons”). Law enforcement authorities do not exclude that Garanin can get a real term - especially if to consider that proceedings against him were initiated during loud revelations of very high-ranking corrupt officials.
Valery Garanin was born on December 28, 1956 in the city of Omsk. In 1979, he graduated from the Kuzbass polytechnical institute majoring in Electrification and automation of mining operations with qualification Mining Engineer. The Candidate of Economic Sciences first time was elected the Head of the Prokopyevsk municipality in 1999. Before worked as a director of coal mines — Zenkovskaya and Northern Maganak. He is awarded by the Order of Friendship. The Complete gentleman of Miner’s Glory order. He is considered one of the richest mayors of Kuzbass. His official income in 2015 constituted 1,8 million rubles. The mayor lives in a house of 258 sq.m belonging to his wife. The woman, who specified 245 thousand rubles of her income in the declaration. Also, he owns an apartment, a garage and four parcels of land.
Over the past few years housing problems for the Administration of Prokopyevsk became a real pain. Solution of part of them by "his own methods" became a reason for initiation of legal proceedings. In 2015 the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case under part 5 Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Bribe-Taking on especially large scale) against the Deputy Mayor supervising construction and housing questions Vladimir Kuzmichev. According to the investigators, a local businessman appealed to Kuzmichev to positively resolve an issue of translation of a room from category “residential” in “non-residential”. And the official agreed to help in the shortest possible time for 700 thousand rubles. Right after receiving money he was detained by employees of the Administration for Combatting Economic Crimes.
Another corrupt scandal took place in the city administration a year before - employees of the City Hall of Prokopyevsk illegally arranged social payments to relatives of their colleague from the money intended for resettlement of citizens of undermined areas (funds allocated to the region program of GURSH). The crime was revealed during unscheduled interdepartmental inspection. It also ended by initiation of legal proceedings under article Abuse of Official Power. Nadezhda Vokhmyanina, the Deputy Head of the Department for feasibility studies and capital construction of the City Administration, became the main person involved in this case. She was given exclusive jurisdiction in the preparation of documents for granting of social payments to people, who were about to move from the shabby housing, which as a result of conducting mining operations became unsuitable for accommodation. In 2006 a woman, who told that she was a heiress of a residential extension to the house 37 on Delovaya Street, addressed Vokhmyanina. This house was located in the territory, which was subsided by liquidated mine of Kalinin, and was acknowledged a subject to demolition. At the same time in the list of shabby housing facilities the house was designated as Delovaya Street, 37-1, and an extension – as 37-2. According to the heiress of the extension, Vokhmyanina suggested to sell the structure to her son, explaining that they would not give her a second apartment instead of taken down houses and extensions. The heiress of the extension agreed to sell this structure for 40 thousand rubles. In spite of the fact that, according to the law, such construction is not an object of the housing rights, the transaction was registered.
As a result Vokhmyanina's son became an owner of the residential extension, which according to documents became a house, registered in it and acquired the right to apply for housing under the program of resettlement from the subsided by mines territories. But the family decided that this was too little. To increase the amount of social payment the new owner sold the shabby house to Vokhmyanina’s sister and her son. The sister and the official's nephew, acting on the swindler’s orders, registered in this Prokopyevsk house, de-registering from their housing in Novosibirsk, by what they formally worsened their housing conditions. As a result of such simple manipulations the cousins (the son of the official and her nephew) in 2009 bought a one-room apartment in a new building for which the administration of Prokopyevsk paid 1 million 192 thousand 800 rubles. And the swindler's sister the same year became an owner of an apartment purchased by the state for 855 thousand rubles on the secondary market. In court the official declared that she did not admit her guilt as she acted according to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Injured party - the Administration of Prokopyevsk - also supported the employee. And not only morally. In court representatives of the city hall refused the civil suit to recover from Vohmyanina compensation for crime damage in the amount of 2 million 47 thousand 800 rubles in favor of the City Administration. Perhaps, refusal of compensation of these millions - direct gratitude to Vohmyanina for the fact the even in court she did not hand over her accomplices. During the investigation many were sure that without approval of the mayor the official just would not have a possibility to turn such criminal scheme. But it occurred that “unidentified officials of the City Administration”, involved in the case, were impossible to identify.
By the way, according to our sources, during checks on criminal case of Vokhmyanina the staff of FSB discovered embezzlement from federal treasury (from the money intended under GURSH program for resettlement from the subsided by mines territories) on the amount of 120 million rubles. The same information was also provided by the local internet resource PrkRealTV with reference to the source in bodies. Among organizers of the crime, media named the Mayor Valery Garanin who allegedly provided similar social payments also to his relatives. However, in 2014 the matter did not develop further than talks.
All above-mentioned – only a little part of what locals unofficially
accused the mayor and his team. It is possible therefore that when the Investigative Committee became interested in Garanin, the citizens openly started talking that he was caught. However, the residents do not expect any global changes to the best due to the latest events. Not now, not in the next months.
Prokopyevsk is a city with the population of 200 thousand people (officially). More than a quarter of the population is on pension, there are more women than men. Several mines are located in the downtown of the city, which were brought to bankruptcy by its both owners, and municipality, not interested in giving any support to neither business, nor the workers. The city suffers from unemployment. Because of preservation and closing of the coal entities (it is simpler to close the majority of mines of Prokopyevsk, than to extract coal as mines are unprofitable), the dismissed miners are forced to work as janitors.
Until recently, Valery Garanin was a person from the Governor’s team, one of the inviolable. However already a year ago, having studied a tendency of resignations of the Kuzbass mayors, the regional political strategist Vasily Strekalov noted: “Once in two-three years Aman Tuleyev carries out resolute cleaning of a personnel in the territories. Various factors are becoming reasons - feeling that inefficient work of the Head can cast a shadow on the Governor and set him up; decrease in discipline; run out of control and etc. Now, discipline in the vertical is especially important as the team should show a maximum of unity, loyalty and humility and for this purpose demonstrative measures are necessary”. However, then Strekalov was sure that the cleaning would never refer to Valery Garanin, as the latter knows rules of the game and never departs from them. But none of the Kuzbass heads are immune from dismissal. And the latest news about initiation of legal proceedings against the officials close to Tuleyev, once again show that times change and nobody will evade responsibility. Now, while the investigation is in process and the ex-Mayor waits for trial, the city tries to patch holes in the budget, getting into debts. The other day information appeared that the Administration of Prokopyevsk intends to take a credit of 50 million rubles to cover deficit of the city budget. The auction will take place on November 28. According to the website of state procurements, the city plans to take the credit for a term of no more than 36 months. While in September, when Valery Garanin retired, Prokopyevsk had already taken three credits for the same purposes at the total amount of 200 million rubles.
In exchange for 12 million rubles ($202 thousand), Kirill Tabakov has ensured the release of third persons of their right to a number of real estate units in the center of Nizhny Novgorod to be replaced by a business class hotel.
According to the defense of ICR officers Nikandrov, Maksimenko, and Lamonov, arrested on suspicion of bribery, Denis Bogorodetsky has broken the crime scheme to the prosecution. The lawyers believe that due to this, the witness turned into a suspect a year after their clients.
Father of the former acting head of the MIA GUEBiPK (General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption) Viktor Zakharchenko, who is currently also under arrest, is the manager of the accounts in question. However, the ICR has information that the сolonel-millionaire has also had direct access to them.