Threats, intimidation from the mob and contractors at Corruption Inquiry
Published Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:04AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 15, 2012 2:53PM EST
More supervisors are taking the stand at the Charbonneau Commission to face examination and cross-examination.
Michel Paquette was the first man in the docket on Thursday,
The city of Montreal employee was an inspector of worksites, responsible for ensuring contractors were doing their jobs correctly.
He admitted he received multiple gifts at Christmas from contractors, including hockey tickets and bottles of wine, but drew the line at going to dinner with them.
Paquette said he was shy and often felt intimidated by contractors.
For their part, contractors say they too were getting intimidated--by the mob.
Construction company owner Martin Carrier said he was repeatedly threatened in 2004 by getting telephone calls from men speaking in heavy Italian accents.
Carrier reported the telephone threats to police, and was later told by the RCMP that the phone calls had been recorded as part of a long-term investigation into the mob.
Police said the man making the threats was Francesco Del Balso, an enforcer for the Rizzuto crime family.
On the calls Del Balso warns Carrier to stop working in Montreal, or else he will be finished.
Carrier later received a condolences card, with the written warning that if he does not stop bidding on Montreal contracts his "family will receive a card identical to this one. FINAL WARNING."
Commission chair France Charbonneau thanked Carrier for testifying, "I thank you, and I congratulate you for your extraordinary courage."
Later in the day investigator Eric Vecchio testified about how he confirmed that Del Balso made the threats.
Vecchio met Del Balso in prison, and the convict said he made the calls on behalf of Nick Rizzuto Sr.
Rizzuto Sr. was murdered in 2010. He was considered to be acting chief of the Montreal mafia while his son Vito was serving time in prison for a triple murder.
Stephane Giroux is reporting live from the Inquiry.
This card with the message "Dear Friend, Do not work anymore in Montreal. You risk seeing your family receive a card identical to this one. LAST WARNING." was sent to contractor Martin Carrier.
Photographers take pictures of Chairman France Charbonneau off the closed circuit television in the media room at the Charbonneau inquiry looking into corruption in the Quebec construction industry in Montreal on Monday, September 17, 2012. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)