(Sainte-Cecile-de-Milton) The municipality of Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton estimates that one has gone too far in his comments to the place of Mayor Paul Sarrazin, and the Director General, Peter Bell. The mayor has denounced this weekend in public these words he describes as defamatory.
The statement was made on 26 January in the Small Claims Court to a packed house. According to the transcript of the court that reached Mr. Sarrazin, Guy Pothier said the mayor has “swept tenders for rather give contracts to his friends,” that he has violated the laws by canceling calls Request for giving contracts to friends, and he committed such a big crime that Mr. Pothier had to file a complaint with the UPAC.
“At the same time there he said that Mr. Bell had come to see that he gives $ 300 for his work on the culvert (see other article) and Mr. Bell might as well have put money in his pockets. ”
Met by Voice of East Saturday Guy Pothier declined to comment on the situation.
In an interview, Paul Sarrazin says he has received no phone call or visit from UPAC or any other body whatsoever. For cons, the accusations made their way among the population and there were comments afterwards.
“The hearing was held and I called my director general to find out how was the encounter. He said that Mr. Pothier had not formed us, he says. It remained that. Me the next day I’m going to Granby to my university course, I go and the first thing I’m told by a student that is that “there are people who do not like you in Sainte -Cécile. Yesterday you became a little brew. ” The person was at the Small Claims Court and she told me how it happened. ”
He believes that Mr. Pothier words have damaged his reputation and that they are “false and vexatious”.
Quickly, the mayor asked his CEO to get the audio transcript, which allows you to hear, especially, Judge Pierre Bachand reprimanded Mr. Pothier.
Under the advice of his lawyers, the municipality sent a notice to Guy Pothier March 7 to demand a retraction by press release, approved by the lawyers of the municipal party before March 21. Otherwise it would be sued for damages of $ 10,000.
Mr. Pothier refused to retract. The answer came from the pen of his lawyer, Yanick Messier. According to the municipality, they alleged that such a withdrawal would only add fuel to the fire.
If St. Cecilia continuing its efforts, Mr. Messier promises that his client will request compensation for damages. It also threatens the municipality to request documents from the bidding for review and verification.
“The tender documents he speaks, I have them here. They are all there and we said we made them available. He has not even looked at what was in there [before holding his remarks]. We have nothing to hide, “says the mayor.
As it could cost “$ 15,000 to $ 25,000” to continue with the citizen, the municipality decided instead to rectify the situation and report on the public square.
“Freedom of expression is to go far it does not put the integrity or reputation of a person concerned, believes the mayor. Citizens can go to court and defend his record, but it does not allow him to say anything on anyone. There are limits not to cross. ”
Back in time
The story begins in 2014 when the City Council wanted to take work on the roads to clean the ditches. It will therefore call for tenders. Four companies submit a dossier.
The afternoon before a counseling session, the envelopes are officially opened. Submissions are very different: they range from 9000 to $ 98,000.
“When the general manager of the time realized, after the public opening, a contractor had bid $ 9000, he sent her an email saying that he had to be a mistake in the price and he would have to send him a new price before 17h because the evening was the council meeting. When I learned that the Director General had contacted a contractor after the opening, to correct the price … you can not do that. The bidding is over, prices are publicly known, a procedural error was committed, “said Paul Sarrazin.
The Mayor has used its veto to the decision to be brought back to Council for debate. Board members then proposed, seeing the price of dividing the territory into two and to award the contract by mutual two companies of Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, so as to be able to realize all work for less than $ 50,000 (which exempted them from the obligation of going to tender). Part of the work was done in Internal Economy.
“People who are involved in it are far from my friends and it is the board who decided launches Paul Sarrazin. The work was divided equally to the two entrepreneurs of the municipality, two of the few entrepreneurs who were able to do this work then, and more. We worked in good faith for the cost is lower for citizens. ”
It was during this work that a conflict broke out between Guy Pothier and the municipality. The workers have widened the gap before its field according to the regulations of the municipality, but the culvert Mr. Pothier, to access his land, was outsized. The culvert is too high, the water stagnated.
The culvert is citizen responsibility, the gap of the municipality. “He did not pay, says Paul Sarrazin. We decided to buy peace and lowering its culvert properly. It was done in line with our rules. ”
In the end, the base of the culvert was the same width as the original, but not the running surface for farm equipment.
“This is where Peter Bell proposed that for $ 300 we would. We had, public works, pieces of culvert [to lengthen and make adjustments]. He would not, “said the mayor.
Mr. Pothier sued in small claims court for the municipality it corrects the situation at his expense. He also won his cause.