Tremblay was unaware of 2004 findings on collusion, new comptroller-general report will reveal
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:51PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 18, 2012 7:04PM EST
Former Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay was kept in the dark about a 2004 report on collusion at city hall, the city’s comptroller-general will reveal in a report Wednesday.
Comptroller-general Alain Bond is set to reveal his findings in a new report on the secretive 2004 report, including why it was hidden for eight year, and only revealed November 12 of this year.
Mayor Michael Applebaum said he has read the findings, and believes it's clear Tremblay never knew about the controversial report that claimed Montreal taxpayers have long overpaid – up to 40 per cent more -- for public works contracts.
Those who did know about it, were Tremblay's close advisers at the time, the report is said to reveal.
“Guy Hebert (of Montreal’s housing and development board) said very clearly he gave it over to his boss, which was Mr. Abdallah, and also Frank Zampino was the director of the executive committee,” said Applebaum.
Up until the day he resigned, Tremblay claimed his innocence when it came to corruption and collusion.
Abdallah has denied allegations he tried to cover up the document. Reports suggest Abdallah claims he shared it with the executive committee and it's what prompted them to pay a firm to look into the inflated costs of certain municipal projects.
Meantime, Zampino faces several charges, including fraud.
The comptroller-general’s findings and non-binding recommendations are expected to be presented Wednesday to the city’s new executive committee.
Opposition party Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel said it's not enough.
“The comptroller-general of the City of Montreal can only make administrative verifications, and we need more. It’s the reason why we asked the minister of municipal affairs to make an inquiry about that,” she said.
The Gazette columnist Henry Aubin said it's doubtful these findings will lead to any real change at city hall.
“Everyone is out for themselves. There's very little sense of civic responsiblity. No, I really don't think that a bunch of reports are going to change that climate, that culture,” he said.
Will the report clear Tremblay’s name? That’s questionable, said Aubin.
“It would seem to confirm that he's been an absentee mayor; a mayor to whom his subordinates do not report, and that he was never in full control of city hall,” he said.
Tremblay had no comment on this latest report, but in the past has said that he hopes to get a chance to tell his side of the story if he is called to testify at the Charbonneau Commission.