Dauphin refuses Mayor Tremblay's request to resign
A dizzying day at Montreal city hall Monday resulted in the dismissal of city comptroller Pierre Reid over what Mayor Gerald Tremblay described as an overzealous investigation of council speaker Claude Dauphin.
But the reasons for that same investigation into alleged irregularities in Lachine – where Dauphin also serves as borough mayor – also led Tremblay to ask Dauphin to step down from his post as speaker of council.
Except Dauphin refused that request from the leader of his own Union Montreal party, and expressed dismay over being the subject of an investigation by his own administration.
"I have the confirmation that my e-mails were opened by Mr. Reid's team," Dauphin told reporters Monday. "I'm very disappointed."
Tremblay, while condemning Reid's actions in saying he went too far by opening Dauphin's e-mails, acknowledged that the now former city comptroller was in a difficult position.
"It's very difficult he had a lot of allegations of collusion and corruption," Tremblay said. "He only did his job, but maybe he went a little too far."
Those allegations, however, are being investigated by the Sureté du Québec, but Dauphin insists he refused to resign precisely because he's not concerned about his own innocence.
"I have nothing to feel guilty about," he said, "so that's why I'm not resigning. That's all."
Dauphin said he will need time to consider whether or not to leave Tremblay's party after refusing the mayor's request to step down.
Opposition Leader Louise Harel says her Vision Montreal has learned how security was breeched at city hall and they, too, have contacted the police.
The third party at city hall, Projet Montreal, has vowed to support Dauphin until the truth is uncovered, and will express that when Monday's postponed council meeting is held on Tuesday evening.
"(Tuesday) we will defend Mr. Dauphin," said Projet Montreal Leader Richard Bergeron. "We don't know if this accusation has any truth. We will know when we see the proof."
The mayor repeated that the city is not allowed to access e-mails of employees or councilors unless there's a police investigation. But he wants the rules of how and when e-mails can legally be accessed to be made clearer.
All of this comes just two months after it was discovered Reid had secretly opened the e-mails of the city's auditor-general, Jacques Bergeron. That method of investigation into wrong-doing had the mayor asking Quebec's municipal affairs minister to look into the action and recommend how the city should move forward.
The SQ released a brief statement stating that it never authorized or recommended eavesdropping on Dauphin's communications.