The Children's Hospital has been the object of a number of charitable activities to raise funds for renovating its wards, and, while renovations have been made, it is reasonable to assume that some donated funds were also embezzled or used for bribes and kickbacks.
One of those arrested, Aivars Lisenko, a top administrator at the hospital, is also a member of and contributor to the Peoples' Party (Tautas Partija/TP), a member of the ruling coalition. With polls showing support for the TP well below 2 % ( 5 % is needed to be seated in the Parliament or Saeima), the party plans to bring back former Prime Minister Andris Šķēle in next year's elections. TP party officials are rushing to deny they knew anything of Lisenko's criminal activities, although his legally required state employee income declaration should have raised eyebrows -- he had huge cash and bank savings and had privately lent someone LVL 208 000. With official income of LVL 27 000 per year, it is hard to see how this accumulated money came from legitimate sources.
News of the Childrens' Hospital scandal has caused the usual temporary wave of public outrage. It remains to be seen if the accused will be convicted and what other similar scandals the KNAB will uncover in coming months. It appears that this kind of corruption, no matter how depraved, is endemic to Latvia.