Only a fool would do it for mayors like me, says Polčák about the reward for Vrbětice

At first he replied only in writing, then he completely stopped communicating. It was only on Friday, five days after the News List described his law firm with compensation for the Vrbětice explosions, that MEP Stanislav Polčák (STAN) decided to speak.

This happened after the last article, in which the list of reports was testified by Monika Hubíková, deputy mayor of Slavičín. The regional politician described how MEP Polčák first offered last year to represent the town hall in negotiations on state compensation for a one-time amount of 10,000 crowns (which is also confirmed by local council meeting minutes). But then Polčák came in February with a request for – according to the deputy mayor of the “scandalous” – 2.6 million. This was a share of 2.5 percent of the granted compensation million, which the municipalities received from the state.

It is, after all, one of the essences of the whole affair, which cost Polčák a post as vice-president of the STAN movement: the mayors of five municipalities affected by the explosion had no idea that the MEP would once charge almost eight million for legal services related to the passage of a special law on compensation.

Why did you decide to talk about it now?

I would like to answer this because I don’t know if it is an extraordinary lie, a lie or a misunderstanding. In fact, I spoke to Mrs (deputy mayor of Slavičín) Hubíková in mid-February, she said it was really for the village of Slavičín. When I saw that Mayor Tomáš Chmela had probably not told my colleague Mrs Hubíková everything, because it was at the beginning and there was a discrepancy, I said: Ok, I just want the confirmation that I have done the work. That’s how it really happened.

But that doesn’t change what Deputy Mayor Slavičín says: that at first the reward was supposed to be 10,000 and only then did you ask for 2.6 million.

No, there were 10,000 at the start, it’s a written proposal from the mayors. It is unequivocal. It explicitly states that I will be working as a lawyer and that I don’t want any political credit on the case: I demand payment of an advance bill of 10,000, I won’t charge you any more bills if I fail, so I did it for free. If I succeed, I would like to be rewarded with a piece of the stuff. I sent this to all mayors in writing on April 19th. At the time, I didn’t know which legal route to take, editor. We explored the possibilities of the Integrated Rescue System Act, the Crisis Act, none of which led to reasonable compensation for municipalities, let alone their citizens.

The mayor became Slavičín, suddenly praised Polčák

Last week Tomáš Chmela, the mayor of Slavičín, cautiously confirmed that his town had a problem with MEP Stanislav Polčák’s lawyer fees – everything would be judged by a town lawyer. On Friday, the city’s deputy mayor, Monika Hubíková, openly described that Slavičín had refused to give Polčák 2.6 million as a reward for legal services associated with the 104 million compensation the city had received from the state.

On Friday (at the same time as Polčák offered an interview on this subject, the News Report), the mayor of Chmela sent a statement in which he clearly supported Polčák. And he questioned what he said a week ago, as well as the testimony of his deputy mayor. “I fundamentally oppose the media lynching carried out by S. Polčák and Z. Hověžák (Mayor of the compensated municipality of Vlachovice, who wanted to pay 2.9 million to Polčák) regarding compensation for the explosions in Vrbětice. Both of them fundamentally mentioned the successful solution to the issue of compensation for the explosions in Vrbětice, and it is humanly depressing for me to see how their immeasurable contribution is distorted and dirty these days,” the mayor wrote.

The mayor also questioned the minutes of the Slavičín city council meeting last May. The deputies then asked how much Polčák’s services would cost the city. The mayor replied only once 10 thousand crowns. “I refuse to discuss who told anyone a year ago, how anyone figured it out,” the mayor added.

The mayor of Chmela de Slavičín said last week that the city lawyer is currently investigating the whole matter and assessing whether you are entitled to 2.6 million. And now you claim you gave up the rewards in February.

I do not know at all. Tomáš completely disappointed me. So he had to say what really happened. What I am telling you here now is absolutely true. When I saw that it was uncomfortable for them, I said: Tomas, you will sign for me that I have done the work and let’s delete it.

We have published the minutes of last year’s council meeting in Slavičín, where the deputies asked about your remuneration. The mayor of Chmela said it would be 10,000. Why didn’t you say you would like a percentage of the compensation you received?

I don’t remember, for God’s sake.

It’s not in the record that you would tell the members there. I would expect you to respond. You were there online via Zoom.

Okay, but the record doesn’t go verbatim… I remember discussing the legal process in detail. I was logged into it for about five minutes because I ran out of time. I also remember a representative, a communist, yelling there that it didn’t make any sense and that they shouldn’t be entitled to any compensation. I was against. Then I said I had given them a written proposal, logged out and thought that was it. I don’t think anything else was said.

So, at the beginning of the cooperation with the mayor, you didn’t really have a fixed salary.

It was determined that this would be a reward. The power of attorney explicitly states that this is paid legal work. It was fixed in advance because they invited me to a meeting in mid-April, where we all sat down and they said: Stan, we are approaching a deadline (for compensation) under the Integrated Rescue System Act. We just need to finalize the proposals and submit them to the regional authority, which rejected all the claims. They said: Come get involved. I said, Well, I’ll give you this written proposal – I sent it to them that day and it sounded like I was telling you.

Have you told the mayors how high your reward might be? While – as you argued this week – could reach up to 25% depending on lawyers’ fees?

Yes. But I didn’t want to look ravenous in advance to tell them in advance that I might want 25%. I wanted to be rewarded for comprehensive legal service. It was only at the end of May or the beginning of June that I thought that we would follow the path of a special act. How could I have known in April that I would go through a law? We finished the law in August, and unfortunately in the Senate we already knew that there were excluded (case of some inhabitants of Vrbětice who are not entitled to compensation). The mayors said: If it comes back to the House, the whole law will fall – well, we’ll find out then. That’s why we decided to represent the people for free, that’s why the municipalities agreed that it would be covered by our reward.

How often does it happen that when a lawyer works for a municipality, he takes a percentage of the amount obtained? And not an hourly reward? I have talked about it with many lawyers who have never heard of such a thing.

Please, editor, let’s not talk about what anyone has heard before. I know the law, so let my fellow lawyers study it.

They don’t say it’s not possible. But that’s not common.

Yes, because only a jerk like me would do that. This is the most advantageous for the client: he does not bear any risk, the lawyer is working, he has not paid anything and at the end of the story he is entitled to compensation and he invoices it in full.

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