MONTREAL - Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay is denying being directly involved in spying on the city's own financial watchdog, the auditor general.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Pierre Reid, the city's controller-general, was spying on the auditor general's e-mails.

Opposition parties at city hall argue Tremblay is responsible, but at a news conference Thursday the mayor tried to shift the blame.

The mayor says what's most important is to find out whether the auditor abused his power.

He says he wants the municipal affairs minister to set out rules on how an auditor could be investigated.

"An auditor committed irregularities and no one is above the law," he said.

On Tuesday, Auditor General Jacques Bergeron sent to all city councillors, informing them city bureaucrats were snooping in his email account, and had been reading all correspondence, including private messages sent to and from his lawyers.

Richard Bergeron of Projet Montreal said it's clear Tremblay is ultimately to blame.

"Mr. Tremblay is responsible and the spy that work on behalf Mr. Tremblay is Pierre Reid," he said.