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Tartu's deputy mayor resigns

  • 2008-11-26
  • In cooperation with BNS
TARTU - One of the deputymayors of Estonia'ssecond-largest city of Tartuon Nov. 25 submitted his resignation to the mayor effective Dec. 4.

He reportedly does not want to give up his holding in a roadmaintenance company which performs work for the city government.

Anto Ili served as deputy mayor in 1993-1999 and again since 2001,spokespeople for the city government said.

To stem corruption, the mayor, Urmas Kruuse, ordered city officials withbusiness interests to give up their holdings by Nov. 14 or ensure thatcompanies in which they have interests do not conclude contracts with the city.

By the deadline, the mayor reached an agreement with most officials involvedthat their companies would not make deals with the city and they will step downfrom management bodies of the firms. Ili was the sole exception as he wasvacationing in Finlandin November, so the mayor gave him a reprieve until Nov. 24 to make up hismind.

Ili, a member of the ruling Reform Party like the mayor, owns 12.6 percentof the road building and maintenance company Tref which is a cooperationpartner of the city and has won the most municipal roadwork contracts.According to the daily Tartu Postimees, Tref has been awarded 145 contractssince 2003.

Ili had said in mid-November that heintended to quit the post of deputy mayor. In his words, Tref cannot be barredfrom participating in Tartu'sroad tenders. He also said he could not stay on as a member of the citygovernment because his credibility has been questioned.

The vice-chairman of the parliamentary group of the oppositional CenterParty, Ain Seppik, sent a letter earlier this month to the head of the securitypolice, asking for an explanation regarding Ili's holding in the road buildingcompany and whether the security police intended to run a check on the Tartu city government.