Yaroslavl Mayor suspected of getting elite cars as kickbacks

Yaroslavl Mayor suspected of getting elite cars as kickbacks
Mayor of Yaroslavl, Vladimir Sleptsov

The Mayor’s son is the one driving the cars registered in the name of a local businessman.

Oleg Vinogradov, the chairperson of Yabloko local office, accused Yaroslavl Mayor Vladimir Sleptsov of accepting money from Sergei Lednev, an entrepreneur and a friend of his, in exchange for municipal contracts. According to Vinogradov quoted by Kommersant, the Sleptsov family has been enjoying two expensive cars: Range Rover and Audi, registered in Lednev’s name. The mayor does not deny his friendship with the businessman, but says the corruption accusations are "complete nonsense and utter disinformation."

The corruption offences the politician refers to also took place when Sleptsov had other posts. For instance, in 2014, when he was the first deputy head of Sergiev Posad, Lednev's firm Stalstroymontazh was given a contract for the improvement of an underground crossing in the town worth 2.4 million rubles ($40.600). Then, in 2015, when the incumbent Yaroslavl mayor was in charge of the Khimki administration, a very differently oriented company called Imperiya Pechati (The Press Empire), also established by Lednev, got four contracts worth 16.5 million rubles ($280.000) from an enterprise subordinate to the Khimki administration for the production, delivery and installation of information stands, according to Yabloko.

Finally, when Sleptsov was already working in Yaroslavl, in June 2017, the same Stalstroymontazh contracted to replace cast-iron fences in the center of the town, which will cost 23.4 million rubles ($396.000).

It is his 21-year-old son who is driving the businessman's cars, which had ended up in Sleptsov's garage as a thank-you gift for the partnership.

The mayor said that in Yaroslavl, the contractor had been “chosen under the law, and anyone could participate in the bidding.” As for Sergiev Posad and Khimki, Lednev’s companies never operated there, according to Sleptsov. The expensive cars his son was seen driving do not belong to him: he just "makes some money as a driver," said the mayor.

Whatever it was, all the information obtained will be passed to Alexander Bastrykin, the Head of the Investigative Committee, Yuri Chaika, the Russia's Prosecutor General, Alexander Bortnikov, the FSB Head, and Oleg Plokhoi, the Head of the anti-corruption department of the Presidential Administration, Oleg Vinogradov assured. 

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