Charbonneau Commission reveals long list of meetings between construction bosses, city officials
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 1:45PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 27, 2012 4:41PM EST
MONTREAL— The first page of a long list of invitation-only meetings between engineers and public officials was revealed at the Charbonneau Commission Tuesday.
The secretive meetings took place in 2005 and 2006 at swanky Club 357C in Old Montreal.
The list, which includes a host of names now familiar at the Charbonneau Commission, was not complete, however, after Justice France Charbonneau agreed to subject the complete list to a publication ban until some people named on it could be informed.
The publication ban was made at the request of lawyers for the Quebec Liberal Party, alluding that the revelations would be damaging to two members of the party.
Those who attended meetings made public Tuesday include:
- Paolo Catania, construction boss
- Frank Catania, former construction boss and Paolo Catania’s father
- Bernard Poulin of engineering firm Groupe SM
- Yves Theberge of CIMA+
- Michel Lalonde of Groupe Seguin, now Genius
- Martial Fillion, former head of Montreal’s real-estate department
- Bernard Trepanier, former Union Montreal director of finance (also referred to as Mr. Three Per Cent)
- Frank Zampino, Tremblay’s former right-hand man
- Giuseppe Zampino, Frank Zampino’s brother
- Pasquale Fedele, former Catania employee
- Robert Marcil, the head engineer for the City of Montreal
Frank Zampino, Paolo Catania, Trepanier, Fillion and Fedele were all swept up in arrests connected to the Faubourg Contrecoeur scam earlier this year.
The publication ban was agreed to after a witness who was supposed to appear before Quebec’s anti-corruption inquiry Monday filed an eleventh-hour motion to be heard behind closed doors. The witness feared repercussions from both the City of Montreal and Quebec’s Liberal Party.
Last night, prosecutors for the commission went through the witness’ appeal and told the witness it would be better if they withdrew their motion. However, the city and party were curious to see the motion.
Believing the situation to be serious enough to merit a full review, Justice France Charbonneau brought proceedings to a standstill, then returned to address the motion after a break.
Calling it an offer she couldn’t refuse, Charbonneau agreed to allow only the first page of the document.
Piero Di Iorio’s attempt at collusion
The commission’s morning was dominated by contractor Piero Di Iorio as they retook the stand to finish his testimony. On Monday afternoon, Di Iorio described how he was shut out of the bidding process for Montreal’s municipal projects and faced reprisals if he tried.
Describing himself as a proud Italian, Di Iorio said his father warned him never to place bids against Sicilians, because they decided who could bid and who could not.
On Tuesday morning, he described a bizarre situation where he worked with another firm to collude on a project, nearly double the price of the contract, and split profits 50-50.
The handshake agreement fell apart when the project was finished and Di Iorio wasn’t paid. Instead of washing his hands of the situation, Di Iorio planned to sue his competitor. He was warned by his lawyer that the agreement to collude might not go over well in a courtroom.