Latvenergo board cleared

  • 2003-03-06

A lengthy probe into management practices at Latvia's electricity monopoly Latvenergo has resulted in reprimands for the company's board members but no firings.

Board member Ivars Liuzniks, however, tendered his resignation following the probe, which commenced after Economy Minister Juris Lujans said he mistrusted Board Chairman Karlis Mikelsons.

Lujans accused Mikelsons of misspending Latvenergo's money on marketing campaigns and board member salaries.

The probe turned up some inconsistencies, but nothing that would warrant the firing of the board, according to Vilis Vitols, chairman of Latvenergo's council.

Mikelsons declined to comment on the results of the probe but said earlier that it was politically motivated.

Meanwhile, a criminal case is set to begin in Riga over the disappearance of 3 million lats (4.8 million euros) from the company's coffers.

The case prompted board member Ivars Liuzniks, who is a defendant in the case, to resign last week.

"I had decided a long time ago that I would quit when the court case began because it would just be ethical," he said.

The company's council itself has also come under scrutiny in recent days.

Council member Olegs Krauja on Feb. 28 filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General's Office challenging the legitimacy of the council he sits on.

Krauja contends that the council was elected illegally on Jan. 17 because it did not announce before a shareholders meeting on that date that it would appoint a new council, saying it would only deal with company finances.

During the Jan. 17 meeting, an Economy Ministry's official dismissed the sitting council and elected a new one.

The Prosecutor General's Office confirmed that it had received the complaint.