Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Montreal’s embattled mayor abruptly canceled his public appearances, packed his bags and went on leave Thursday after a witness at a corruption inquiry linked him to illegal party finance activity.Mayor Gerald Tremblay “has decided to take a few days off to rest. He’ll be back at city hall on Monday,” his spokeswoman Martine Painchaud said on Twitter.
Meanwhile broadcaster TVA showed Tremblay and his wife loading luggage from their home into his car.
Witnesses told the commission headed by Superior Court Justice France Charbonneau that the mayor’s political party received kickbacks from construction in Canada’s second largest city. The commission also heard that the mayor was aware of illegal party spending.
The mayor has acknowledged “corruption” and “collusion” at city hall in the awarding of public contracts, but steadfastly denied any involvement or knowing about any specifics.
On Tuesday he angrily rejected renewed calls for his resignation, telling reporters: “I’m not going to hide, I’m here, I’m not sick, I will continue to manage the city.”
The Charbonneau commission is investigating alleged graft, bid-rigging and kickbacks in the awarding of government construction contracts across Quebec.
The probe was launched after a leaked report by an anti-graft police unit pointed to evidence that construction companies were banding together to keep prices high — and possibly had links to organised crime.
Tremblay was first elected in 2001 and his current mandate ends next year.
Copyright (2012) AFP. All rights reserved.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.