After Charbonneau revelations, city sacks two engineers who admitted to corruption
Published Friday, February 8, 2013 2:36PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 8, 2013 7:47PM EST
MONTREAL—They all appeared in front of the Charbonneau Commission and now they are all out of a job.
On Friday, the City of Montreal sacked Francois Theriault and Yves Themens, two municipal engineers who had admitted to accepting bribes in front of Quebec’s anti-corruption inquiry.
Another employees who admitted to corrupt practices were also disciplined. The highest-ranking of the three, city infrastructure director Gilles Vezina, will be allowed to retire at the end of the month.
The city is not making any other comments on the situation because employees could, in theory, take legal action to contest their firing.
The bombshell revelations from the inquiry, and recent criminal investigations, have prompted a number of suspensions, firings, and resignations from public and corporate offices in Quebec. The two firings took place after an internal investigation, launched after their testimony.
Themens swore under oath that he never favored contractors dealing with the city. Despite the fact he admitted accepting expensive gifts from them.
His colleague, Theriault, was a city inspector singled-out by Lino Zampino for accepting bribes.
Theriault admitted to accepting gifts from contractors and the commission discovered he accepted a $30,000 discount for his house from a city contractor. He's now facing perjury charges for omitting that detail.
Their supervisor was Vezina. He also accepted gifts, while failing to stop skyrocketing costs.
The three were suspended without pay last fall. On Friday, the city told them they were fired, after running its own internal investigation.
“We ran our own investigation with the controller, we have to make our own proof, to prove the allegations made in front of Commission Charbonneau was right,” said Jean-Yves Hinse, speaking for the city.
The two men who were fired will not get any severance package. A fourth man, city inspector Michel Paquette will get to keep his job, but lost four months of salary for accepting gifts from contractors.
The city confirmed it's not investigating anybody else on suspicions of corruption, however that could change providing more names are named at the commission. In the meantime, the city is still trying to go after the assets of retired city engineers Luc Leclerc and Gilles Suprenant, who both admitted to taking $100,000s in bribes.