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Libor Michálek

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Libor Michálek
Half-length color portrait of Czech man in his 40s, purple suit and tie, black suit jacket
Senator from Prague 2
Assumed office
20 October 2012
Preceded by Daniela Filipiová
Personal details
Born 1968 (age 49–50)
Náchod, Czechoslovakia
Nationality Czech
Political party Pirate
Other political
affiliations
Green, Christian Democrat
Children three
Alma mater Palacký University of Olomouc, Masaryk University, Nottingham Trent University (MPA)
Occupation Financial analyst
Website http://www.libormichalek.cz

Mgr. Libor Michálek, MPA[1] (born 1968[2]) is a Czech economist, politician, and whistleblower. He led successful corruption cases against the Czech National Property Fund and the Environment Ministry as former employees of both.[3][4] He is the first Pirate Party candidate to be elected to office in a national legislature.[5] His senatorial term is 2012–2018.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Michálek was born in Náchod in 1968.[2] He graduated from high school in Přerov in 1987, and from Palacký University of Olomouc in 1992.[2][6] He later studied in Masaryk University's management program,[2] and received his MPA from Nottingham Trent University's executive program in 2010.[6] After college, he worked as a UNIX programmer, business school teacher, and portfolio manager at an investment company.[6] Michálek was a broker at the National Property Fund from 1994 to 1996,[2][6] when he was fired after exposing a tunneling embezzlement scheme.[3][7] The resulting court case found that he was improperly dismissed.[7] He was later involved in compensating victims of financial crime.[4][8] Michálek served as a capital market supervisor at the Czech Ministry of Finance from 1997 to 1998, a director at the Czech Securities Commission from 1998 to 2006, a director at the Czech National Bank from 2006 to 2007, a senior consultant at the World Bank in 2007, and the chief financial market inspector at the Czech National Bank from 2008 to 2010.[6]

In August 2010, he became the director of the Czech State Environmental Fund.[2] On December 13, 2010, Michálek filed a criminal complaint of corruption against the Environment Ministry in its tender for reconstruction of a Prague water treatment plant.[4][9] He claimed the project was overpriced by 3,000,000,000  Kč.[4] Based on a secretly audiotaped conversation, Michálek also alleged that Martin Knetig, an advisor to environmental minister Pavel Drobil, asked him to manipulate the tender to fund his party (the Civic Democrats) and Drobil's political career.[10] Michálek recorded his subsequent conversation with Drobil, who allegedly offered his deputy position for the destruction of the tapes.[3][10] Upon the story's publication, Drobil fired Michálek and Knetig,[10][11][9] denied any wrongdoing,[3][12] and resigned a day later.[4][10]

Prime Minister Petr Nečas defended Drobil, and called Michálek untrustworthy despite his public reputation as a whistleblower.[7] Since the Civic Democrats vowed to fight corruption, losing its first minister to corruption charges was a blow to the party's standing.[13][14] The Drobil incident was the first of several high-profile resignations.[15] On December 21, 2010, Czech Police Chief Oldrich Martinu resigned after Interior Minister Radek John's month-long call for his ouster in part due to the Drobil case's mishandling.[16] Michálek returned to the State Environmental Fund as a financial analyst in 2011.[6] The Drobil case is on indefinite hiatus for a lack of evidence as of September 2012.[17] As of February 2013, the case against Knetig is on a similar hiatus for insufficient evidence.[18]

Michálek is married and has three children.[19] He is an evangelical Christian.[7][20]

The Senate[edit]

Libor Michálek in a suit walking near another man and his 2012 Senate campaign booth, which has a white background with purple and magenta lettering: "Michálek do Senátu" and a whistleblower logo (a metal pea whistle with a slanted exclamation point above, surrounded by a circle)
Michálek near his Senate 2012 campaign booth

At the end of July 2012, Libor Michálek accepted the Czech Pirate, Green, and Christian Democrat Party senatorial nominations for District 26.[21][5][22] The Pirate Party was his primary affiliation due to its transparency and accountability platforms.[5][23] His personal 12-point platform prioritized direct democracy, fair political party competition, and anti-corruption oversight efforts alongside social welfare reforms.[24][25] In the October 2012 elections, he won 24.3 percent of the first round vote and 74.4 percent of the first-past-the-post runoff, giving him the seat.[5][23] Another candidate, Karel Berka, challenged the decision,[26] but the Czech Supreme Administrative Court found the claims unfounded.[27][28] He was the first Pirate Party candidate to be elected to national office, the 81-seat Czech Senate.[5][29] His senatorial term is 2012–2018.[1]

Czech President Miloš Zeman has publicly considered Michálek for leading the Supreme Audit Office.[30] In 2013, Michálek authored the first bill designed to protect whistleblowers, which was overwhelmingly rejected on the floor of the Senate.[31]

Awards[edit]

In March 2011, Michálek was awarded first prize from the Endowment Fund Against Corruption for his whistleblowing role in the Environment Ministry corruption scandal.[32] In May 2011, he was awarded the František Kriegel Prize by the Charter 77 Foundation for his "brave, consistent and uncompromising fight against corruption in government."[3][33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Mgr. Libor Michálek, MPA". Senát PČR. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Libor Michálek is the new CEO of the State Environmental Fund CR". State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic. 4 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Czech News Agency (ČTK) (26 May 2011). "Charter 77 Foundation awards corruption whistle-blower". Prague Daily Monitor. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Czech News Agency (ČTK) (11 April 2011). "Charter 77 to award corruption whistle-blower". Prague Daily Monitor. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Jones, Ben (22 October 2012). "First Pirate Party Senator Elected in the Czech Republic". TorrentFreak. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Libor Michálek - Když se nehraje fér, pískám" [Libor Michalek - If you don't play fair, I whistle]. Strana Zelených. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Druker, Jeremy (8 March 2011). "The Perils of Blowing the Whistle". Transitions Online. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Kdo je Michálek - amatér, nebo hrdina?" [Who is Michálek—amateur or hero?]. ČT24. 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Procházková, Martina (14 December 2010). "Drobil ukončil válku ve státním fondu: šéfa vyhodil, náměstkovi dal dovolenou" [Drobil ended the war in the state fund: boss fired, Deputy gave leave]. Mladá fronta DNES. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (8 April 2011). 2010 Human Rights Reports: Czech Republic (Report). United States Department of State. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Sestak, Martin (14 December 2010). "Drobil zasahuje na fondu životního prostředí, padají hlavy" [Drobil encroaches on the Environment Fund, falling head]. ČT24. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "Drobil odmítá, že by nabízel post za zničení nahrávek" [Drobil denies that he offered a post for the destruction of records]. ČT24. 15 December 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "The gloss is off". The Economist. 21 December 2010. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Rousek, Leos (16 December 2010). "Czech No-Confidence Motion Stains Prime Minister's Image". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Nováček, Petr (16 May 2011). "Czech coalition threesome could break up in June". Česká Pozice. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Police chief quits in deal to avert gov't collapse". The Prague Post. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  17. ^ Klang, Mikuláš (21 September 2012). "Drobilův případ je definitivně odložen, potvrdil nejvyšší žalobce Zeman" [Drobil case is indefinitely postponed top prosecutor Zeman confirmed]. Mladá fronta DNES. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  18. ^ Czech News Agency (ČTK) (26 February 2013). "Drobilův exporadce Knetig byl opět zproštěn viny. Soud nemá dostatek důkazů" [Drobil advisers: Knetig was acquitted again. The court does not have enough evidence]. Hospodářské noviny. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Mgr. Libor Michalek, MPA". Piráti. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  20. ^ Pinc, Martin (20 December 2010). "Kdo je Libor Michálek" [Who is Libor Michalek]. Mladá fronta DNES. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  21. ^ Czech News Agency (ČTK) (1 August 2012). "Corruption whistle-blower Michálek running for Senate". Prague Daily Monitor. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Kopecký, Josef (30 July 2012). "Michálek, který srazil Drobila, chce do Senátu. Vadí mu ODS i ČSSD" [Michalek, who knocked Drobil, wants the Senate. It bothers him ODS and CSSD]. Mladá fronta DNES. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Volby do Senátu Parlamentu ČR konané dne 12.10. – 13.10.2012" [Elections to the Senate held on 12.10 - 13.10.2012]. Český statistický úřad. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Příloha č. 1 ke smlouvě o nominaci Libora Michálka na senátora" [Appendix No. 1 to the contract for the nomination for senator Libor Michalek] (PDF). Piráti. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "Programové Teze Libor Michálka" [Program Theses Libor Michalek]. Strana Zelených. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "'Michálkův' okrsek. Padlo trestní oznámení" ['Michálkův' district criminal complaint filed]. První Zprávy. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  27. ^ PRAŽANÉ ZA SVÁ PRÁVA v. Státní volební komise, a Mgr. L. M., MPA, 4, 39 (Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic 2012) (“Je tedy namístě tento návrh zamítnout jako nedůvodný. [Therefore, this proposal should be rejected as unfounded.]”).
  28. ^ "Výsledky senátních voleb se už nezmění, soud stížnostem nevyhověl" [The results of the senatorial election have not changed, the court dismisses complaints]. Novinky.cz. 13 November 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "Česko vyhrálo mezinárodní pirátskou soutěž o průnik do parlamentu" [Czech won the international competition for the pirate penetration into Parliament]. Novinky.cz. 21 October 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Jsem pro předčasné volby co nejdříve, řekl Zeman" [I'm all for early elections as soon as possible, said Zeman]. Novinky.cz. 26 January 2013. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  31. ^ Carney, Sean (October 10, 2013). "Czech Senate Overwhelmingly Rejects Whistleblower Bill". The Wall Street Journal. News Corporation. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  32. ^ Bojčev, Nikola; Piroch, Jan; Zykmund, Zbynek; Černý, Ondřej (23 March 2011). "Protikorupční nadační fond udělil první ceny" [Anticorruption Endowment Fund awarded first prize]. Český rozhlas. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "PRICE FRANTISEK KRIEGEL" [František Kriegel Prize]. Konto BARIÉRY, nadace Charty 77. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Libor Michálek at Wikimedia Commons