Regional development head steals electricity

  • 2001-02-08
  • BNS
RIGA - The general director of the newly established Riga Regional Development Agency was caught last fall stealing electricity from the state-owned electricity utility Latvenergo, according to reports.

RRDA head Dans Bertulis had illegally installed an extra electric power cable running to his private cottage in Adazi near Riga, a spokesman for Latvenergo affiliate, Central Electric Networks, confirmed to BNS.

Ervins Stapkevics said that a fine of nearly 2,000 lats ($3,200) had been imposed on Bertulis for stealing electric power, which he was paying in installments.

Following an inspection by Central Electric Networks, Bertulis admitted he had been using electricity from an separate cable for some time, though he said he was unaware it was illegal.

Riga Mayor Andris Argalis, who learned about it from news reports, was dismayed.

"If it is true, I believe such person must not be allowed to work with budget funds because his salary is paid from tax payers money," he said.

Deputy Mayor Juris Visockis said that Bertulis had to be punished if he had been stealing electricity but would not give any detailed comments.

Visockis confirmed that he had nominated Bertulis for the RRDA post, which was later confirmed by the Riga City Council.

The RRDA was established this week, when it also confirmed Bertulis's appointment as the RRDA board chairman and director general.