The former head of the Lány Forestry Administration, Miloš Balák, who was convicted of breach of duty in property management, lived in Lány in a villa belonging to the Castle. His subordinate signed the lease until 2025 a week before Balák left office. They pay 6,300 crowns per month for a villa with 21 rooms. He also uses 5,000 square meters of surrounding land, which costs him 80 crowns per month. This is reported by the Seznam Správy server.
In mid-March, the court upheld a fine of 870,000 crowns and a two-year ban on Balák. The case concerns the mining of stone in the Lánská nature reserve. Balák was already convicted last year in another case last year, namely for influencing a two hundred million contract. However, then-President Miloš Zeman pardoned him and Balák remained at the head of the contribution organization of the Office of the President of the Republic until the end of last year.
He retired as head of the forest administration last year on December 31, but his deputy signed the villa lease on December 23. Balák did not answer the server’s question about why he concluded the contract when he knew about his end in office. He now holds the position of clerk in the forest administration, which the court verdict allows him – although the imposed ban on activity refers to activities in the organizational components of the state, but only in their statutory bodies, i.e. in management. He is currently on long-term sick leave and cannot be released.
The Supreme Audit Office (NAO) also drew attention to the preferential rental of real estate. According to him, the Forestry Administration of Lány violates the law because it unjustifiably reduces the income from state property. The castle stated that the foresters would otherwise not be able to afford housing. However, Seznam Zprávy previously stated that Balák earned 10.8 million crowns in his position since 2014.
Other people also have discounted rents in Lány. His close associate Eduard Gaisler, who was in charge of some of the orders for which Balák was convicted, lives on the same street as Balák. They pay 26 crowns per square meter. Balák signed the lease with him. The server pointed out that both of them previously worked in the management of Lesy Hluboká, from which property disappeared under circumstances that are still unclear. The house with an area of almost 150 square meters and 12 rooms was also rented by the family of Balák’s acquaintance Michal Krejčík, who was originally prosecuted in the case of stone mining in the Lánská forest. It pays 8901 crowns per month.
According to the findings of the SAO, tenants of castle properties pay the Lány Forestry Administration between 14 and 40 crowns per square meter, which is significantly below the market rent. The Chairman of the SAO, Miloslav Kala, pointed out that the Castle has an obligation to manage the property in such a way as to get the maximum return from it. The Russian told the server that new leases will be continuously revised by the forest administration and prices will be determined by an expert opinion.
The Lány Forestry Administration is a subordinate organization of the Office of the President. Former chancellor Vratislav Mynář did not respond to the server’s questions.
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