NDG bureaucrat apparently commits suicide after UPAC questioning
Published Monday, March 11, 2013 1:57PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 11, 2013 7:55PM EDT
MONTREAL—City of Montreal employees arrived to shocking news on Monday: the director of the permits division in the borough of Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace apparently took his own life over the weekend.
Robert Rousseau was brought to the head office of the Surete du Quebec on Friday by the province’s anti-corruption unit. He spent the whole day meeting with investigators looking into corruption in the province.
He was found dead the next day in his home by a family member and apparently left a suicide note. The sad incident comes after several reports that NDG had been under scrutiny by UPAC over various projects in the borough.
Radio-Canada is reporting that in an earlier meeting, Rousseau and Jean-Yves Bisson, a former borough manager who worked under him, were asked specifically about a high-density condominium project on Upper Lachine Rd. by the city's comptroller-general. That project was developed by Tony Magi, a businessman and developer with alleged links to the Montreal mafia.
On Monday, Rousseau’s co-workers at the borough headquarters on Decarie Blvd. were informed of his death. The borough also issued a statement saying that it would not make any comment on the matter.
"Out of respect for family members and his friends, but also because the circumstances surrounding the death are unclear, the leaders of the borough will not make any statement on this subject," said a communique from the borough.
“Our thoughts go to the family and colleagues who are dealing today with a terrible shock.”
Louise Harel, the head of Montreal's opposition, called the suicide "shocking" and "very difficult" news.
Rousseau lived in Chateauguay with his wife and two children
A Surete du Quebec van is parked outside of Poly Excavation in Laval while UPAC officers search the premises (Oct. 11, 2012, CTV Montreal/Jean-Luc Boulch)
Robert Rousseau, former director of the permits division in the borough of Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace.