A Haifa magistrates' court judge has strongly criticized the city's dealings with a local gardening firm and has ordered it to pay the company more than NIS 1 million, reports Yediot Haifa. The judge said the municipality had cancelled checks illegally, refused to pay money it owed the company, and made unjustified complaints about the firm's work. According to the report, the Napso gardening company had worked for the city for some three years without any problems - but when Yona Yahav became mayor the problems began. "It seems the election of Yahav as head of the city created a change in the relationship with the gardening company," the judge said. In its court case, the company said that soon after Yahav's election, the city began cancelling checks and stopping authorized payments. The city filed a counter suit for NIS 2.5 million, claiming the company had cheated it and had taken money without authorization. The judge rejected the city's lawsuit entirely and decided in the company's favor. She ordered the city to pay the company NIS 800,000 in compensation, plus interest and court costs - a total of more than NIS 1 million.