Evidence mounts of close relationship between mobster and union boss
Published Wednesday, October 30, 2013 10:28AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:51AM EDT
Wiretap evidence is backing up mounting allegations of a close connection between a known mobster and a senior executive in one of Quebec's largest unions.
At the Charbonneau Commission Wednesday, police investigator Nicodemo Milano is presenting email exchanges and telephone conversations between Jocelyn Dupuis, the former leader of the FTQ-Construction, and Raynald Desjardins, a convicted drug trafficker currently awaiting trial for the murder of a Mafia kingpin.
The exchanges show how Desjardins and his colleagues managed to gain control of a Quebec construction firm called Carboneutre, and then pressured the Quebec Federation of Labour, and its investment arm the Fonds de Solidarité-FTQ, to invest in this firm.
The duo also worked together to try, in vain, to get other investment agencies to fund Carboneutre.
Without any doubt, the wiretaps show that Dupuis and Desjardins were good friends who talked often and worked hand in hand. Dupuis, in fact, started working directly for Carboneutre soon after leaving his job as president of the FTQ-Construction.
Wiretaps also showed that FTQ president Michel Arsenault was eager to help him, despite there being questions about the Carboneutre's poor reputation.
While Dupuis worked for Carboneutre, he continued lobbying for financing. Arsenault warned him at the time that having known mobster Domenic Arcuri on the payroll was not helping his chances, a fact that Justice France Charbonneau noted.
Arsenault would soon discover that the real boss behind Carboneutre was convicted mobster Raynald Desjardins, a fact that former union executive and whistleblower Ken Pereira brought it to Arsenault's attention.
“I got his business card. It says Raynald Desjardins, VP of international development for contaminated soils,” said Arsenault, who added that at that pointthe solidarity fund immediately abandoned Dupuis and Carboneutre.
Later, commission investigator Stephan Cloutier revealed that at least two union leaders who worked with Dupuis were also associated with the Hells Angels.
“What I discovered is that Mr Bérubé is a business partner of (Hells Angel) Jacques Israel Emond,” said the investigator.
The wiretaps confirm Pereira's story that the FTQ-Construction was run in part by organized crime.
The Charbonneau Commission announced late Wednesday that former union boss Dupuis would appear Thursday morning and will be testifying against his will, after refused to cooperate with the commission.