Charbonneau: Lalonde shows no remorse during cross-examination
Published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 6:53PM EST
Engineer Michel Lalonde showed little remorse as he candidly admitted during cross-examination at the Charbonneau Commission Wednesday that he broke the law several times.
In his fifth day on the stand, the CEO of structural engineering firm Genius Conseil kept a broad smile while recounting how he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying off politicians.
He said bribes were called investments; co-conspirators were called partners; and fixing a contract was called having an open mind, he said.
Justice France Charbonneau suggested another term, however.
“What you really mean by open mind is being able to commit fraud?” she said.
When Charbonneau asked Lalonde to at least offer suggestions to end corruption, his answer was less than clear. He said, “There are sectors in Montreal where it's more challenging than others. Maybe it would be better to work in partnership, at least in some departments, and maybe the city needs more engineers on staff to challenge engineers from the outside,” he said.
As for his own sense of responsibilities, Lalonde said he accepts them, but he still mostly blamed others.
“The whole concept of political financing forced us to become players, but an engineer has other duties,” he said.
Lalonde’s temper began to flare when the commission showed him he was ripped off by a man he paid off $25,000 in exchange for a favour.
When asked if he made the right choices all along, he said he did.
“I made the right choice because I had contacts and it showed results,” he said.
Lalonde’s testimony was once again placed under a publication ban Wednesday afternoon, because he's touching off on a criminal case that's currently before the courts.