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ODESSA, July 4. /TASS/. The new chief of the Odessa regional state administration, Mikhail Saakashvili, has cracked down on the departments of internal audit and cooperation with law enforcement agencies and of the prevention of and struggle with corruption. Having heard 2014 performance reports by the heads of these two agencies last year Saakashvili said they were doing nothing and ordered the dismissal of all staff.
"You are being dismissed for doing nothing at all. People are complaining about bribers and extortions. In the meantime, you say everything is fine and nobody has been punished. We will rely on the public. We will find experienced auditors, accountants and other specialists, who will be addressing these issues instead of the negligent bureaucrats," local media quote Saakashvili as saying.
He promised that he would identify the sources of funds to pay public activists for their efforts and grant them appropriate powers.
This is not the first mass dismissal of officials in the Odessa region over the past month.
The newly-appointed chief of the Odessa Region’s police force, Georgy Lortkipanidze, declared last week that he would replace all command staff within a matter of ten days.
Saakashvili was appointed the Odessa Region’s governor on May 30, 2015. He was Georgia’s president since January 2004 and left the country several days before the expiration of his powers. In 2014 the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office charged him on four counts, including a crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, embezzlement of about $5.1 million and a murder plot. Tbilisi’s city court issued an "in absentia" warrant for Saakashvili’s arrest for the period of the investigation.