The Prague embassy of the CSSD filed a criminal complaint today over the capital’s contract for legal services worth approximately 25 million crowns, which was obtained without a tender by the law firm of Karel Muzikář Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The Social Democrats suspect the unknown perpetrator of a breach of duty in the administration of another’s property, conspiracy in a public tender and the negotiation of an advantage in the award of a public contract.
Prague justified the award by a time constraint. He needs advice on the planned issue of bonds in the amount of up to 200 million euros, about 5.1 billion crowns. The capital has to pay almost 5.4 billion crowns for bonds from 2003 by March 19. It wants to pay the amount from the money intended to finance the completion Blanka tunnel. He will then cover the missing amount from the new bond issue.
“The law firm is one of the best in the country, it has experience in cases where it has represented the state. No one from the current management can suspect that the choice of office would be made on the basis of personal ties, “said Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges is part of a group of law firms that Prague selected years ago and which it can contact if necessary without announcing an open tender. The contract with the lawyer Karel Muzikář was signed by the Deputy Director of the Municipality, Zdena Javornická.
“We do not know what was done for 25 million crowns. in addition, the contract was increased without the consent of the council, “said Lenka Teska Arnoštová, CSSD representative. According to her, the council undertook that contracts over one million crowns must pass through the consent of councilors.
The signing of the agreement was also criticized by Lukáš Manhart, Councilor for Transparent Public Administration and Legislation for TOP 09. “I was very surprised by this fact, and there is a reason for me to be concerned,” he said.
Representatives for the CSSD questioned the overall system by which the capital selected law firms. “It must be under clear conditions,” said Petr Dolínek, chairman of the control committee of the Prague City Council. According to him, 154 million crowns ended up in the pockets of the year in the pockets of external lawyers, and 150 million crowns in 2011. Opposition representatives do not like the fact that the city has its own legislative and legal department, which numbers about 20 people and another 30 lawyers are in specialized departments.
Due to doubts, the Social Democrats want to check all the contracts approved by the city council since January 1 last year.