The audit, which the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation conducted in the Saratov department of the department on a complaint from Engels, brought the first result – the head of the Engels district, Dmitry Plekhanov, was detained on suspicion of corruption.
According to the press service of the Investigative Committee of the ICR for the Saratov region, a criminal case has been opened against the official under part 2 of article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – abuse of power.
The detention of Plekhanov was announced by acting. Oleg Mezrin, head of the department, since Anatoly Govorunov has been suspended from his duties for the period of the check organized by order of the head of the RF Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin. The check was organized after the appeal to the main department of large families who received land plots in the Engels district without related infrastructure, but the district head was detained on other grounds.
According to investigators, from June 2022 to January 2023, Plekhanov, contrary to the interests of the service, “organized the purchase by the director of one of the organizations at its expense of a car and its transfer to the ownership of the Engelssky municipal district.” All this was done out of the personal interest of the district head, the Investigative Committee believes.
Details of the official’s detention, citing their sources, were reported by Vzglyad-info news agency. According to the publication, Plekhanov was detained last night, April 27. And today searches were carried out at his house and in his office. Employees of the anti-corruption department of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs participated in the detention.
The car, which the Investigative Committee of the ICR writes about, is a foreign car Kia K5, which was purchased through the JSC ERCC established by the Engels Property Management Committee. The organization bought the car in the fall of 2022 for 3.9 million rubles, after which, under the pretext of lack of funds for its maintenance, it transferred it to the ownership and balance of the district administration, after which Plekhanov was personally taken to Kia.
Moreover, according to Vzglyad, this was done on the basis of a personally signed resolution dated January 9, 2023. The Committee of Large Families drew attention to a conspicuous foreign car, specifically its leader Irina Aleshina. She applied to the Investigative Committee of the ICR for the Saratov region, but at first they did not see any grounds for initiating a criminal case. It is not possible to find a foreign car in the contracts and agreements of the ERCC on the public procurement portal.
According to the head of the Saratov regional branch of the Party of Dela, Oleg Komarov, the visit of investigators from Moscow was just in time: it seems that federal legislation does not work in the region at all. And it’s not just about the complaint of large families here.
– A number of other high-profile criminal cases were stalled, potential defendants in which could be high-ranking officials. People see how responsible comrades do what they want and no one punishes them. Such things quickly become systemic and can throw the region back to the Stone Age, – Komarov emphasized.
In the region, he recalled, a catastrophic situation has already developed in the housing and communal services sector, last winter people sat without heating for several days, but there was no reaction from law enforcement agencies. Small businesses are fleeing, retail and production areas are massively rented out, which indicates the distress in this segment.
– Our control and revision commission recently revealed budget violations for 800 million. This is a huge amount for a subsidized area. At the same time, deputies of all levels are silent, but why do we need such deputies then? Sometimes I ask – how many inspections have you initiated and what are the results? Everyone just looks at each other. Bastrykin or someone else from Moscow cannot manage the region manually, Oleg Komarov states.
Dmitry Plekhanov headed the Engelssky district just a year ago, and local residents perceived his arrival to the leadership negatively. Signatures were even collected on a petition to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to find a more professional head of the district. In his post, the official was remembered primarily for his numerous litigations with developers, who began to massively freeze the already existing construction documents, as well as the complete lack of dialogue with the population.
Before coming to power, Plekhanov himself worked in the construction business. His company PDPstroy, now rewritten by an official to his mother, Lidia Plekhanova, has received and continues to receive large contracts for the construction of social facilities for many years, despite a modest staff. The quality of the work performed in many cases caused complaints from customers. Now the regional department of capital construction is suing the contractor. PDPstroy’s contracts for the construction and repair of kindergartens and schools in Engels, concluded before Plekhanov became the head of the district, were overgrown with criminal cases. Moreover, they were initiated only on the grounds of committing crimes and did not have specific defendants. Information about the progress of the investigation has not yet been made public.