Christina Johansson refused to respond to the news agency TT’s questions on Monday if wearing two hats posed a potential conflict of interest.
The Moderate politician and businesswoman instead sent an SMS to the reporter explaining that the company she runs, Rinman Education, had not taken contracts from the Employment Agency since she took over its reins.
Swedish authorities, meanwhile, asked that Rinman Education pay back 369,000 kronor ($57,000) in state financing (statsbidrag), after misstating the number of course participants in an industrial design programme run under its remit. The company now has one month to pay back the six-figure sum.
The design course took place in the small town of Hällefors, in central Sweden Hällefors municipality, where Johansson is deputy chief of the council board and owns 46 percent of Rinman Education.
The Employment Agency has dominated headlines in Sweden over the past few days after its board complained in public about CEO Angeles Bermudez-Svanqvist’s management. The labour minister asked the CEO to step down this weekend.