MONTREAL -- Thirty-one deaths at the Maison Herron long-term care facility have prompted police, public health and coroner’s office investigations, and one former resident’s family has retained a lawyer to consider legal action against the owners, one of whom was found to have a criminal record.

Media reports claim that co-owner Samir Chowieri was convicted of conspiring to import hashish into Canada and sentenced to two years in prison. The public relations firm acting for Chowieri indicated that he was pardoned for his conviction in 2014.

A former resident’s family is considering legal action.

“They find their family member was extremely neglected while in their care,” said the family’s lawyer Umberto Macri.

There has been an ongoing public battle between Herron ownership and the West Island Health and Social Services (CIUSSOIM) over who is responsible for the neglect that caused 31 seniors to lose their lives.

CIUSSSOIM took control of the residence March 29.

Some, whose loved ones remain at Herron, say they had and are still having a hard time getting information about their family members.

“I got different messages from them, never anything concise,” said Robert Ahmad whose mother Claudette Adams is living at Herron.

Ahmad started a Facebook group to bring those affected together, strategize and talk about what’s going on at the facility.

He saw his mother through a window Saturday, but hasn’t been able to speak with her.

Premier Francois Legault called the revelations about Chowieri’s past unacceptable, as a potential employee at a care home would not be hired if they had a criminal record.

“I’ve asked people to check how come we have some background checks for employees, but not for owners taking care of elderly,” he said in his daily briefing Wednesday. “I was surprised and I’ve asked them to check and see if there are other cases.”

Ahmad is pleased at the long-awaited scrutiny.

“It seems if you’re privatized in Quebec, the government doesn’t look into your business,” he said. “We’re talking about human beings. We’re talking about elders, talking about mothers and fathers. This is awful, past awful.”