NEWS IN SHORT

Manager leased a car from himself

ECONOMY Minister Pavol Pavlis sacked Ladislav Košecký, the executive director of the ministry-owned company MH Development, because he leased a vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, from his own firm Mertimex, the TASR newswire reported on October 27.

ECONOMY Minister Pavol Pavlis sacked Ladislav Košecký, the executive director of the ministry-owned company MH Development, because he leased a vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, from his own firm Mertimex, the TASR newswire reported on October 27.

Pavlis recalled Košecký after receiving a letter of complaint from independent MP Miroslav Beblavý.

“Ladislav Košecký is the only partner in Mertimex, therefore he signed an agreement with himself and through it made a profit from public finances,” Beblavý said, as quoted by the Sme daily. He added that monthly lease fee for the car was €1,200 excluding VAT.

“This is more than €14,000 in a year; a sum that easily buys you a car ...,” Beblavý stated, as quoted by TASR.

Košecký had to pay three fines totalling €12,786 for having a position in a state firm and simultaneously managing a private firm, which is forbidden by law. However, the fines were paid from MH Development coffers according to Beblavý.

“This means that he paid his personal fines with state money completely without shame and hesitation,” Beblavý said, as quoted by TASR, “he even officially listed them in the firm’s accounting.”

The independent MP also referred to a similar case that he had brought attention to in late August. At that time Beblavý pointed out that the head of the largely state-run Bratislava Stock Exchange (BCPB), Jozef Medveď, had leased a car for BCPB from a company called Vanys that was under his sole ownership. Pavlis then dismissed Medveď, TASR wrote.

“The economy minister considers the course of action by the head of MH Development to be unethical, just as was the case with the head of the Bratislava Stock Exchange,” said ministry spokesperson Miriam Žiaková, as quoted by the SITA newswire adding that Košecký will receive no severance pay and noted that MH Development will merge with another ministry-owned company, MH Invest, in January.

Sme found in MH Development’s invoices more orders for people close to Košecký. The state paid a total of €17,000 for various landscaping, green maintenance and garden work. Michal Držík signed those contracts as a representative of the firm Stuples, where again Košecký is the only partner.

The Economy Ministry promised to check on these invoices. Sme wrote that Košecký refused to comment.

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