Coderre just wanted to vent to police chief, Chamberland Commission hears
Published Monday, June 5, 2017 12:37PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 5, 2017 6:31PM EDT
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said he was "very annoyed" when news began to filter through the media about a driving ticket he received before he was mayor of Montreal, and only called Marc Parent, the chief of police, to vent his anger.
The Chamberland Commission resumed Monday morning with testimony from Montreal's mayor and his communications director.
The inquiry is looking into the protection of the confidentiality of journalistic sources.
Coderre spoke to the commission, telling them he was pulled over for a highway violation in 2012, before he was mayor. He said he paid the ticket.
Then, in 2014, his press attaché Catherine Maurice began receiving calls from La Presse journalist Patrice Lagacé inquiring about the ticket and if it had, in fact, been paid.
Coderre said he was furious that a personal matter had been made public.
"I blew a fuse" testified Coderre.
"I grabbed the telephone. I called Marc Parent. I told him I was not happy at all and then I hung up, saying 'is this normal this kind of thing? Is this legal, this kind of thing? Is it normal?'"
He said he never asked the police chief to 'investigate' the matter, but that in calling Parent, he only wanted to express his irritation.
Coderre noted that this particular ticket had been reported on multiple times.
Coderre also said as mayor, he can talk to the police chief rather quickly, but he did not interefere in any police operation.
Maurice also testified Monday before the commission to tell her part in the story.
She denied knowing there was a criminal investigation underway, even though she had given a detective copies of Lagacé's emailed inquiries.
"I knew he was making calls about the ticket and that's all," said Maurice.
The Chamberland Commission was established by the Quebec government after it was learned that Montreal and Quebec provincial police obtained warrants to collect information data from the smartphones of several journalists, including Lagacé.