Conflict of interest: a former mayor of Portneuf ready to go to prison to avoid paying his fine

Convinced of having been wrongly convicted for breaching ethics, the former mayor of Saint-Léonard-de-Portneuf continues to make waves and embarrass the Municipality by refusing to pay his fine.

• Read also: The former mayor of Saint-Léonard-de-Portneuf fined by the CMQ

Denis Langlois would even have said he was ready to « go to prison », on principle, before paying the fine of $ 4,000 imposed on him last April, can we read in an investigation report produced by the Direction municipal integrity investigations and prosecutions.

The one who was in office for 26 years, before leaving politics in 2021, has always disputed the reproaches made to him and continues to claim his innocence despite the guilty verdict against him for an apparent conflict of interest.

The Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) found him guilty of exerting pressure on the director general of the Municipality and giving her a direct order in the hope of overturning a decision of the municipal council which delayed the project. expansion of his pigsty, Porc Héden. « Get organized [pour] let it pass to the council”, he had told him, according to the summary of the evidence.

“I have a clear conscience. I told the truth, but the judge didn’t believe me. In this case, I defended my business, but it seems that we have no right to do that. So all businessmen who are in municipal politics, if they do business with their municipality, are likely to have the same sanction, » he lamented six months ago in an interview with The newspaper.

The ex-elected could have contested his sanction before the Superior Court, but he did not do so. He had 30 days to pay the penalty of $4,000 to the Municipality – which has the obligation to collect the fine – but to date, no sum has yet been recovered.

A hot potato in the village

The small municipality of Saint-Léonard-de-Portneuf, which does not have unlimited financial resources, has announced that it will drop legal proceedings, a controversial decision in the village. « It seems that the legal costs could be an element that discourages the Municipality from moving forward », we learn in the investigation report.

The Municipal Integrity Investigations and Prosecutions Department recommends that the Municipality continue the proceedings to have the CMQ’s decision homologated and force Mr. Langlois to pay. « Failing this, it is recommended to assess the advisability of undertaking the required procedures against the respondent », we conclude. The elected officials of Saint-Léonard-de-Portneuf received the report on Wednesday and will analyze the file again today.

Another case in the Laurentians

The municipality of Brownsburg-Chatham, in the Laurentians, is going through a similar situation. Former city councilor Antoine Laurin, who was fined $2,000 by the CMQ in December 2021 for using information obtained in the course of his work to make an offer to purchase land , has still not paid its dues.

“No reason justifies an elected official or a former elected official not to respect a decision of a court and not to pay the penalty which was imposed on him at the end of a final and uncontested decision”, can we read in a second report from the Municipal Integrity Investigations and Prosecutions Department, made public yesterday. The investigators also recommend that the Municipality initiate proceedings to force the execution of the judgment.


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