Mayor Gerald Tremblay confirms that the Surete du Quebec is investigating the $10.6 million contract to replace the city hall roof amid reports that the contractor was asked to pay a $40,000 bribe to keep the contract.

La Presse reports Tuesday that Paul Sauve, the contractor in charge of the project, was approached by a mafia figure who demanded $40,000 to pay off two city councilors in Tremblay's administration.

La Presse says Sauve never paid the bribe.

The mayor said police are examining the contract but he also fired back at La Presse in a lengthy diatribe during a news conference at City Hall on Tuesday morning.

He denied that any of his councilors are involved and accused La Presse of spearheading a smear campaign to drive him out of office.

"We can't make insinuations and allegations and continue to attack my integrity," said the mayor, raising his voice repeatedly.

Meter scandal

Tremblay, who faces re-election this fall, has dealt with several scandals in recent months.

Chief among them is a $355 million water-meter contract, the largest in city history, which Tremblay suspended this spring after a firm that landed the contract was raided on allegations of tax fraud.

The mayor's former right hand man, Frank Zampino, was involved in the scandal when it was revealed that he once vacationed on the yacht of the man whose firm was raided.

The friend, Tony Accurso, had been chosen to co-manage the water-meter contract along with another firm, Dessau, which hired Zampino after he left politics last year.

Zampino later quit Dessau when the connection was reported.

He maintains the water-meter contract was awarded fairly but also acknowledges that taking the yacht trip was a mistake.

But Zampino didn't apologize for taking the Dessau job and instead accused the media of attacking his integrity.