The company owned by ex-Mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis’ freelance advisor Renātes Lagzdiņa’s husband received from the municipal administration almost EUR 20 000.
According to information from LETA, in 2022 Riga City Council signed a contract with LLC fon Films for video development services for Riga’s Summer project. The total worth of the project is EUR 19 800, but with VAT this amount reaches EUR 23 958. The contract was signed on behalf of the municipal administration by the Brands and Communication Office.
According to information from Firmas.lv, 60% of LLC fon Films is owned by Lagzdiņa’s husband Māris Lagzdiņš.
The contract was signed on the 6th of July 2022. Riga City Council reports that two days later Lagzdiņa became a freelance advisor to then the Mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis and remained as his advisor until the 10th of January 2023. She was not paid a wage as an advisor.
She was paid a wage for working in Riga City Council’s Education, Culture and Sports Department, where she was involved in the organisation of Riga’s Summer cultural programme. According to information from the city council, in 2022 Lagzdiņa was a member of Riga City Council’s Education, Culture and Sports Department’s procurement committee. This means
she was involved in the work done by the procurement committee,
which was responsible for cultural event organisation services for Riga’s Summer programme in 2022.
Lagzdiņa was a member of the procurement committee in talks regarding cultural event organisation services for Riga’s Summer programme in 2022 and a member of the procurement committee for the department’s procurement for the organisation of services for the Bravery and Happiness Event held on the 20th of August. She tresses she has never been involved in decision-making in regards to the signing of the contract with her husband’s company.
Lagzdiņa submitted multiple official’s income declarations. The first one was submitted on the 2nd of December 2020. In it, she mentioned working in the a budget distribution committee of Riga City Council. In 2020 she was paid a wage of EUR 8 253 by Riga City Council, a bonus amount of EUR 1 500 and other income worth a total of EUR 4 327. According to the income declaration, she earned more than EUR 14 000 for work in Riga City Council in 2020.
According to her, she submitted her declaration in December, when she became an official. However, she was paid money by the city council even before then. Considering that she was not an official of the city council at the time, it was not mentioned in the declaration. This means the aforementioned EUR 14 000 was not paid for a single month, rather for a longer period of time.
In her income declaration for 2021, Lagzdiņa mentioned having been paid a wage of EUR 26 010 in the city council. This amount was paid between December 2020 and the end of February 2022. For Her income declaration for 2022 is not publicly available in the database of the State Revenue Service.
Ex-Mayor of Riga Staķis said it is difficult for him to comment all this. The politician said employees are expected to reports possible conflicts of interest on their own.
He said that had he known about this situation, he would have spoken with his advisor about it.
The ex-mayor finds it difficult to tell if what Lagzdiņa was working on for Riga’s Summer had any impact on the signing of the contract with her husband’s company. She did not participate in decision-making related to this contract.
She remained his freelance advisor for only a short while, consulting him about ways to promote tourism and expand Riga’s popularity using contemporary art.
As previously reported, during Staķis’ term, Riga City Council spent approximately EUR 1.3 million on various information and public campaigns.
Also read: Latvian minister promises clarity about government’s future by mid-August