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Profit from the Position of Regional Governor


Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

The previous Regional Governor in Shida Kartli -Lado Vardzelashvili, passed down the instructions to the current governor of the region Zurab Arsoshvili. According to those instructions, the state budget should cover the flat-rents for several officials of the local authority. Of the 1,600 liters of fuel in total, 1,000 liters of fuel was earmarked for the regional governor, and the other 600 liters for his deputy. These instructions are still in force. On September 1, 2010 (three months after Arsoshvili occupied the position of regional governor) those instructions had not been amended yet. The Georgian president has since promoted Vardzelashvili and has created a special ministry for him with the title Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

What Has Vardzelashvili Bought For the Last Two Years?

Lado Vardzelashvili became the Shida Kartli Regional Governor on February 11, 2008. On April 30, 2008 he filled in a property declaration according to which he was provided a  salary of 32, 250 GEL as the deputy minister of culture. Mr. Vardzelashvili had also received 9, 200 GEL as a per-diem during his business leaves as deputy minister. Thus, Vardzelashvili received a total of 41, 550 GEL when he was deputy minister of culture. On the declaration he filed in April of 2008, he did not indicate having any property or income. Two months after he occupied the position of the Shida Kartli regional governor, Vardzelashvili wrote that he had a personal account at TBC Bank which contained the amount of 28, 000 GEL. He did not mention the amount of the money he had in cash; which may indicate that he had no money at that time.

His declaration in 2009 demonstrates that based on the agreement that was made with the fellowship “Nutsubidze 26”, Mr. Vardzelashvili managed to cover the price of his flat which was under construction for two years. The price of the flat was 180, 000 USD. Lado Vardzelashvili’s flat is on the ninth floor of the recently-constructed residential building in Nutsubidze Street # 26 near the Vazha Pshavela Statue in Tbilisi.

Vardzelashvili’s official salary is 2, 950 GEL. In 2008, he was the regional governor for 11 months only. So, his annual income as a salary was 32, 450 GEL; but he received only
25, 860 GEL after having paid the revenue tax from his salary.

Together with bonuses, Vardzelashvili received 35, 309 GEL In 2008.  This is also indicated in his financial declaration.

As for 2009, his annual income was 35, 400 GEL over 12 months; but he received only
28, 320 GEL in cash. In addition, he received bonuses every month and consequently, Mr. Vardzelashvili received 56, 064 GEL – double the amount of his yearly salary.

In 2008 and 2009 the Regional Governor Lado Vardzelashvili received 91, 464 GEL but he paid 180, 000 USD for his flat in two years, which comes to approximately 315, 000 GEL. The official documents do not show how Vardzelashvili paid those 223, 536 GEL.  According to the agreement, Vardzelashvili covered the abovementioned sum within two years.

According to the financial declaration filled out on December 6, 2009, Lado Vardzelashvili received 70, 800 GEL in salary. In the special paragraph for “Traveling, Education, Accommodation, Renovation” he indicated the amount of 65, 000 GEL.

According to the extract from the Public Registry, Lado Vardzelashvili’s apartment # 15 on the ninth floor of a residential building on Nutsubidze Str. # 26 was mortgaged two times – first on December 8, 2009 at “Alfa Credit” and a second time -September 8, 2010 at Liberty Bank.

Now, let us see how Vardzelashvili spent the state budget during these two years.


Vladimer Vardzelashvili occupied the position of the Shida Kartli regional governor in February 2008. Soon after, on February 11, he issued an instruction for a replacement driver. On February 15, he issued an additional instruction which estimated a limited amount of fuel for the Mercedes Benz, which was used by only high-ranking officials of the regional administration and it was 600 liters per month.

On February 20, the new regional governor signed a new agreement with the cellular communication company “Magti Com” regarding an unlimited tariff. Before that, the previous Regional Governor Vladimer Gegelashvili had also signed agreements with a telecommunication company but they envisaged only a limited amount of free service (only 70 GEL with subscribers of  MagtiCom), but Vardzelashvili abolished the previous agreement and made the service unlimited.    

Regional Governor Lado Vardzelashvili switched his personal phone and number and used state funding to pay for it. According to the instruction of March 4, 2008 Vardzelashvili signed an agreement with GeoCell which states “the service limit for the phone number for the regional governor’s administration (877 79 89 06) is 500 GEL per month”. However, “on July 1, 2008 the agreement was amended and the limit was increased up to 1, 000 GEL.”

Note:  The Geo cell phone number listed above is the personal number of the former regional governor and it is currently still in use.

On July 1, 2008, based on instruction # 63, Vardzelashvili rented a two-storied house on the Georgian Rifle Regiment Street # 5 in Gori for 1, 400 GEL per month. The owner of the house is Maia Goderdzishvili. On July 10, 2008 Vardzelashvili issued instruction # 65 based on which his Deputies Zurab Chinchilakashvili and Giorgi Avaliani received bonuses. “Because of their limited salaries, the following bonuses will be assigned to: the Deputy Regional Governor Zurab Chinchilakashvili – 2, 360 GEL; and the Head of the Regional Service Department Giorgi Avaliani – 1,180 GEL,” states the instruction.

Instruction # 74 of July 30, 2008 shows that the ministry of economical development provided a new car- a Toyota Prado- to the Shida Kartli regional governor with the state number TOK – 387. The amount of fuel that was allocated for use with the Toyota Prado was 600 liters per month. The car was registered to the driver of the regional governor’s administration – Davit Sarauli.

As for the car, which previously served Vardzelashvili - a Mercedes Benz with the state number GUU 515- was assigned to the Deputy Regional Governor Zurab Chinchilakashvili. On September 1, 2008 Vardzelashvili requested to discharge the petrol used on August 8-25, 2008 (during the armed conflict) because it was difficult to issue checks at that time. Vasrdzelashvili, whose car had a limit of 600 liters of fuel per month, requested to discharge 1, 000 liters; that means the accountant of the regional administration had to show that on August 8-25 the regional governor spent 1, 000 liters of fuel. Nobody checked how much fuel was spent by Vardzelashvili; nor did nobody check the number of kilometers that was put on his car during that period of time.

On September 1, Lado Vardzelashvili issued instruction # 80, for which the limit of allocated fuel for the Toyota Prado – state number TOK 387- was increased to 1, 000 liters per month. The document dated on October 7, 2008 demonstrates that the car of the regional administration needed technical repair. 2, 013 GEL was allocated from the fund for the Mercedes Benz.

On October 27, 2008 Lado Vardzelashvili rented one more flat. The instruction states: “for the effective implementation of the responsibilities of the state representative – regional governor, in accordance to the current legislation of Georgia, the rent agreement shall be signed between the state representative in Gori, Kaspi, Kareli and Khashuri districts/ regional governor and resident of Stalin Ave. 10/5 Ketevan Dzidziguri. The rent price for the flat is 600 GEL per month,” stated the instruction.

On the same day, Vardzelishvili rented another flat for his deputy. “For the effective implementation of the responsibilities of the deputy regional governor, the rent agreement shall be signed between the regional governor and the representative of the Individual Entrepreneur “Gio 2006” Jimsher Peikrishvili (resident of the village Zerti in Gori district) regarding the rent of the flat in Stalini Ave. # 24/13 in Gori. The amount of the monthly rent is 800 GEL,” states the instruction. On November 7, 2008, 794 GEL was allocated from the state budget for the repair of the governor’s Toyota Prado.

Based on instruction # 95 of November 14, 2008 Lado Vardzelashvili decided to give bonuses to every employee of the regional administration. However, the decision had religious ground.

More precisely, “the employees of the regional governor’s administration shall receive bonuses in conjunction with St. Giorgi’s Day” – states the instruction. It is interesting that the amount of the bonus money for the regional governor was more than his monthly salary. It was the first occasion during the activities of Lado Vardzelashvili when he issued bonuses to everybody. Later it frequently happened. On December 2, 2008 both cars of the regional governor needed repair and Vardzelashvili wrote the instruction to take the Mercedes Benz and Toyota Prado to the Ltd Avto for repair. 1, 526 GEL was allocated for the Mercedes Benz and 1, 260 GEL for Toyota Prado.


Like the previous year, Vardzelashvili continued his unreasonable expenditures using state funds in the beginning of 2009. On January 5, 2009 Vardzelashvili prolonged the rent agreement with the representative of the Ltd Gio 2006 Jimsher Peikrishvili for one more year. The flat with the space of 50 sq. meters is located on Stalin Street # 24/13 in Gori. The rent for the flat was 900 GEL per month. The conditions of the agreement were amended in October 2009 and the rent price was lowered to 750 GEL.

On January 5, Lado Vardzelashvili rented another flat with 87 sq. meters on Stalin Street # 10/5 in Gori. He transferred 600 GEL to the flat owner monthly. The terms of this rent agreement was 6 months but later it was extended by another 6 months.

On January 5, 2009, the regional administration signed an agreement with Wissol Petroleum on the purchase of 19, 200 liters Premium Petrol. Throughout one year, the Wissol Petroleum had to provide the Shida Kartli regional governor’s administration with fuel worth 27, 840 GEL.

Based on the instruction of January 5, Vardzelashvili concluded that the car which serves him (TOK 387) will use 1, 000 liters of fuel per month and the car of his Deputy Zurab Chinchilakashvili (GUU 515) will use 600 liters of fuel per month. According to the documents and transfer receipts for which we hold, the regional administration transferred the price of 1, 600 liters of fuel to the Wissol Petroleum Georgia per month; which means that only Vardzelashvili and Chinchilakashvili used the purchased fuel.

On January 15, Vardzelashvili ordered 240 still and 600 fizzy Borjomi water; 600 Coca Cola and 40 Jacobs coffee at the supermarket “Populi”. The total cost came to 1, 492 GEL.

We also learned from Vardzelashvili’s instruction # 13 of January 20, 2009 that he received a bonus of 2, 950 GEL every month throughout 2009. This instruction was valid for one year.

On February 2, Vardzelashvili issued instruction regarding the phone expenses for his Deputy Giorgi Avaliani too. Avaliani’s personal phone number 877 51 55 59 was funded by the regional administration and the service limit was 100 GEL per month. One of the transfer receipt shows that 100 GEL was not enough for Avaliani and 30 GEL was additionally transferred to the Company GeoCell.

On February 3, Vardzelashvili purchased computer equipment for 1, 509 GEL and a color TV LG for 745 GEL.

On February 23, Vardzelashvili allocated bonuses to the regional administration employees regarding the holidays on March 3 (Mother’s Day) and March 8 (Women’s Day). Every employee received bonuses equal to their monthly salaries. In total 19, 710 GEL was allocated from the district budget.

The secretary of Vardzelashvili Natia Mdinaridze went on maternity leave for 140 days based on the instruction of March 5. The second paragraph of Vardzelashvili’s instruction # 22 states that Natia Mdinaridze “will receive compensation together with the allowance for her pregnancy and child delivery in order to make her income equal to her monthly salary.”

On March 25, Vardzelashvili rented a two-storied house in Muskhelishvili Street for 1, 140 GEL per month. The district budget allocated 10, 260 GEL for the purpose throughout the year.

On April 6, diagnostic examination was carried out on the Toyota Prado (TOK 387) in a Tbilisi Toyota Center that cost 551 GEL. On April 14, the Mercedes Benz was repaired at the auto-service center Ltd Avto in Gori; the owner of the service center is Gela Chkheidze - the brother of the former District Governor Paata Chkheidze. That person was the director of the cotton factory in Gori and during his time as manager the factory was sold out as a scrap. Regional newspaper Kartlis Khma and humanrights.ge have published several articles about the brothers Chkheidzes (please see link below).


On April 6, Vardzelashvili left 3, 800 GEL at Gela Chkheidze’s service center where he purchased some spare parts for his car. According to our information, Vardzelashvili often visited the Ltd Avto.

Individual enterprise Avto received 551 GEL on April 28 and 3, 800 GEL on April 30. The purpose of both transfers was for the purchase of spare parts for the cars and payment for the corresponding car service.

Based on the instruction of April 26, 2009 a bulldozer was lent to the Gori district administration utill May 1 for the regulation activities of the River Liakhvi and the companies winning the competitions to use this bulldozer. After May 1, the transport was assigned to the Kareli district administration.

On May 18, 2, 250 GEL was transferred to the Deputy Regional Governor Giorgi Avaliani as a reward for the work he had done well. Vardzelashvili did not clarify in the instruction what exactly Avaliani did so well.

The bonuses were distributed en masse among the personnel a month later. Based on the resolution of June 12, Vardzelashvili paid bonuses to every employee equal to their salaries.

On June 1, Vardzelashvili purchased an office table from the Ltd B & C located in Shindisi Road, Gori; the district budget paid 510 GEL for it. On June 1, Vardzelashvili purchased one more set of computer equipment for 1, 750 GEL.

On June 16, Lado Vardzelashvili took his Toyota Prado (TOK 387) to Gela Chkheidze’s service center where he purchased spare parts for his car paying 492 GEL. We visited several auto-service centers and learned that it is much better to purchase spare parts for the Toyota cars in the Toyota Center than in private auto-service centers.

On September 14, Vardzelashvili took the same car (Toyota Prado) and Mercedes Benz to Gela Chkheidze’s auto-service center for reparation. On that day, he purchased spare parts for 1, 410 GEL.

Lado Vardzelashvili issued instruction # 54 regarding  St. Mariam’s Day on August 28 and the employees of the regional administration received bonuses that amounted to 20, 740 GEL in total.

The instruction of September 4 demonstrates that a new bulldozer and grader were assigned to the Shida Kartli regional administration.

On October 5, the employees of the Shida Kartli regional administration received bonuses which in total amounted to 19, 740 GEL.

On November 9, Vardzelashvili purchased two air-conditioners from entrepreneur Davit Kebadze located in Chavchavadze Str. 37 in Gori. He paid 1, 400 GEL for them. On the instruction of the same date, Vardzelashvili purchased the computers for 1, 816 GEL.

The instruction of November 10 shows that Vardzelashvili took the Mercedes Benz to the auto-service center Avto and added oil of 250 GEL and installed the filter in the car. He paid the same amount of money for the oil and filter on the second car.

From the instruction of December 14 we learned that Deputy Regional Governor Giorgi Avaliani took part in the “Educational Seminars” based on the invitation of the Tallinn University Rector and his trip was funded with money from the state budget. The Shida Kartli regional administration did not send us copies of the receipts of these expenses. We do not know the status of Giorgi Avaliani when he attended the training – the public official or the former chairman of the self-government at the Tbilisi State University.

Based on the instruction of December 21, the ministry of economical development assigned one more grader and bulldozer to the region. The regional administration currently has three bulldozers and graders. The ministry of economical development has seized the vehicles from businessman Kibar Khalvashi.

On December 21, we learned that the Toyota Corolla with state number MEG 404 and VAZ 2107 with the state number KII 980, which were seized from Kibar Khalvashi, were assigned    
to the Shida Kartli regional administration. We have already published an article about it (see below).

http://www.humanrights.ge/index.php?a=main&pid=7901&lang=geo )

The market price of the Toyota Corolla is 16, 500 GEL and the VAZ 2107 – 4, 500 GEL.

At the end of 2009, Vardzelashvili bought visit cards for his employees. 446 GEL was paid from the state budget for the visit cards for the personnel within the regional administration.


On March 1, Vardzelashvili issued ten instructions together. His first instruction was regarding the visit of the Deputy Regional Governor Giorgi Avaliani and Head of the Administration Zurab Lomidze to Poland. This instruction is particularly important: Vardzelashvili allowed them to fund their trips from the state budget. In addition to transportation expenses, Avaliani and Lomidze received 1, 228 GEL to purchase presents for their Polish hosts. Avaliani and Lomidze were in Poland from March 5 - March 11 in 2010 and attended the Congress of the ruling party “Law and Justice” based on the invitation given by the Party Vice-President Adam Lipinsk. The delegation of Vardzelashvili purchased the gifts for their Polish hosts from the businessman Ineza Makarashvili. Avaliani and Lomidze also received per diems for the business leave.

March 1 was important because the founder of the local TV-Station “Trialeti”- Badri Nanetashvili resigned from the position of Deputy Regional Governor. In parallel to this event, Zurab Chkheidze occupied the position of the deputy governor. Since March 15, Chkheidze obtained the right to sign official documents.

Based on the instruction of March 1, the Shida Kartli regional administration purchased three cars from the Ltd Iberia AutoLand and paid 24, 500 USD for each. Those cars were purchased for the recently- established Department for Urgent Situations. On March 1,  special equipment was purchased for the same department for 89, 990 GEL. An additional 7, 700 GEL was spent on clothes and the corresponding tools for the department personnel.

Vardzelashvili repaired his corporate car (Land Cruiser GQG 020) and spent 120 GEL for  plastic parts for the car as well as 150 GEL for its painting. On the same day, the specialists of the financial office of the regional administration purchased 5 books about Georgia from   businessman Ineza Makarashvili for 925 GEL, five horns (for wine) for 240 GEL. As for the plates with the photos of the Old Tbilisi and arrases, they paid 1, 228 GEL.

On March 3, the Shida Kartli regional administration paid the electricity bill (1, 042 GEL). On March 18, they transferred 1, 655 GEL to the telecommunications  company GeoCell for services rendered.

On March 15, Vladimer Vardzelashvili did not change the instruction based on which the Shida Kartli regional administration transferred 1, 925 GEL to GeoCell for the service of 30 corporate phone numbers; 1 000 GEL of it was transferred for the regional governor’s phone number in advance.

On March 16, 19, 050 GEL was spent on the purchase of additional equipment and tools for the rescue service team.

On the same day, the regional governor purchased a new TV-set LG for 345 GEL. According to the agreement, Vardzelashvili paid an additional 750 GEL for the installment of this TV-set from the state budget (?).

On March 18, Vardzelashvili purchased coffee cups, ash-trays, spoons, a vacuum flask and other accessories for his office at a total cost of 621 GEL. On the same day, Vardzelashvili purchased an armchair for 410 GEL from Zurab Jokhadze located on Ninoshvili Str. 26 in Gori.

On March 22, Vardzelashvili received unidentified guests and the regional governor spent 201 GEL for their hosting. The food and drinks were purchased at the Populi Super-Market.

On March 24, 1, 140 GEL was transferred to Liana Jioshvili for the flat-rental. On the same day, 131 GEL was transferred to the Tele-Com company and 196 GEL for the Agency of Governmental Special Communications and Information.

On March 29, Vardzelashvili paid 4, 524 GEL for security cameras, though the document states that an additional 990 GEL was spent on the installment of the cameras. However, we do not know where those cameras were installed.

On March 31, 172 GEL was transferred to the news agency Interpresnews. The website systematically published positive articles about the activities of Lado Vardzelashvili.

As we have already mentioned, Vardzelashvili repaired his car on March 1; but one month later, on April 1, he again took the car to the Ltd Avto for repairs and changed the skids for 240 GEL (?).

On April 1, Vardzelashvili purchased a shelf, table for the TV-set and framed mirror for his office using 330 GEL from the state budget.

However, the expenditures did not finish on April 1. Regarding the Easter Holiday, Vardzelashvili paid bonuses to the personnel of the regional administration equal to their monthly salaries.

On April 13, Vardzelashvili decided to attend the funeral of the Polish President who died during the air-accident. He allocated funds for himself, his Deputy Giorgi Avaliani and the Head of the Administration Zurab Lomidze. Several days later, it was reported that the delegation of the Shida Kartli regional administration could not travel to Poland. They could not fly to Poland because of the ash coming from the erupted volcano in Iceland. They returned the price of the air-tickets to the state budget – 2, 388 GEL. Vardzelashvili also noted that only his deputy and the head of the administration returned per-diems for their business leaves but the document does not show that the regional governor himself returned the per-diems – it was 184. 56 GEL per day.

On April 16, the Shida Kartli regional administration allocated 1, 046 GEL for purchase of microphones for the Color Camera. On April 16, a Panasonic cell phone was purchased for 650 GEL.

On April 30, Vardzelashvili allocated 925 GEL for the replacement of spare parts for his two cars – the Toyota Prado and the LC 200. Several days later, on May 5, 2010 the regional governor purchased 4 wheels for 2, 800 GEL but the agreement does not clarify for which car the wheels were purchased.

On the same May 5, an agreement was signed with Wissol Petroleum, based on which the Company had to give checks for 4, 000 liters of fuel to Lado Vardzelashvili before December 31. 7, 800 GEL was allocated from the state budget for this purpose. The instruction states that the department for urgent situations was entitled to use the fuel.

Two weeks after the repairs, Lado Vardzelashvili’s cars needed the same service again. On May 13, spare parts were replaced on the Toyota Prado; Deputy Regional Governor Giorgi Avaliani drove the car. This time, 840 GEL was spent on the spare parts. Moreover, on May 17, Vardzelashvili once again took both cars to the auto-service center and replaced the same spare parts for 2, 622 GEL.

On May 28, 2010 Lado Vardzelashvili allocated funds for a dinner for foreign guests at restaurant Kopala; this restaurant is located in a very prestigious place in Gori and the dinner party cost 700 GEL. Official documents state that the dinner party was organized for the governmental delegation of Poland.

On June 15, 1, 323 GEL was transferred to GeoCell for the service in the following month. 160 GEL was transferred for the electricity bill. On the same day, 38 GEL was spent on the food for the guests. At Wissol Petrol Station, the regional governor purchased diesel for
1, 950 GEL.

On June 16, he replaced the spare parts for the Toyota Land Cruiser again for 665 GEL.

On June 17, 172 GEL was transferred to the news agency Interpresnews for PR. 153 GEL was transferred to the telecommunication company SilkNet which replaced TeleCom in the region.

On July 1, an employee of the financial department was sent to accountancy trainings and 750 GEL was allocated from the state budget for this purpose. On the same day, the Shida Kartli regional administration purchased stationary items for 3, 000 GEL and 40 GEL were spent at the Populi supermarket. However, in the case of the Populi purchase, the purpose of the purchase is not clarified in the official documents.

On July 1, Lado Vardzelashvili assigned the car Toyota Prado TOK 387 to the Regional Department of the Constitutional Security Department. The basis for the decision was  appeal # 155 of the Minister of Internal affairs of Georgia dated June 30, 2010. Vardzelashvili then added 500 GEL  of fuel- which was allocated for the Toyota Prado- to his car. Finally, he spent 1, 500 liters of fuel per month. The Mercedes Benz driven by the regional administration spent 600 liters of fuel instead of the previous 400 liters.

On July 2, in relation with St. Peter and Pavel’s Day, Vardzelashvili paid bonuses to his employees that, in total, amounted to 27, 910 GEL.

On July 13, Arsoshvili replaced governor Vardzelashvili. With the first instruction, Zurab Arsoshvili purchased a safe for 900 GEL and the era of Vardzelashvili ended in the Shida Kartli region.
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Name: ზვიად დევდარიანი
2010-12-04 17:54
დაილოცოს ინტერნეტი!
აქ მაინც წაიკითხავ და მოიძიებ განსხვავებულ ამბებს.
Name: თეონა
2010-12-04 15:47
ყოჩაღ ლადო, ბრავო სხვა არ ვიცი და აი პრემიები კი ალალია შენზე ამ საქმეებისთვის....
Name: ნანა
2010-12-04 15:42
რა სარგებლობა მოაქვს გუბერნატორს? ცალ-ცალი კალოშებით მოსული რეზინის ჩექმებში გაიჯგიმა:D
Name: გიორგი
2010-12-04 13:24
უარესის ღირსები ვართ :)

ჯერ სად ვართ მოიცა :))
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