A municipal councilor Laval Mayor Marc Demers party is under investigation of the Municipal Commission of Quebec (CMQ) for possible ethical breaches. According to the Bureau of integrity and ethics Laval (BIEL), Vasilios Karidogiannis publicly suggested he would use his “politician status” to “influence decisions” of the Liquor Control Board for a Montreal restaurant suspected attract clients linked to organized crime.
The BIEL, part of the Laval Police Department criticizes Vasilios Karidogiannis with violating three articles of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for elected City of Laval by posting a short message on the restaurant’s Facebook page Buonanotte, August 1, 2015. the elected Laval then offered his help to Massimo Lecas, co-owner of Saint-Laurent boulevard restaurant, convened for the fourth time in 15 years by the Regie des alcools, des courses et games (RACJ) .
“If there is anything we can do to help with the Régie des alcools, tell us! ”
“Tell the board that I am a politician and my wife and I are the founders of a charity that has raised $ 250,000 in five years for the Montreal Children’s Hospital. ”
“Anything we can do to support you, we will! “Wrote English Councilman District L’Abord-à-Plouffe. Vasilios Karidogiannis is ultimately never interfered with the board.
Sonia Baudelot, independent candidate beaten by Mr Karidogiannis the last election, then filed a formal complaint BIEL at the end of August. On February 4, the ethics watchdog in Laval forwarded the case to the Office of Complaints Commissioner of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy (Mamot) to the Quebec Municipal Commission conducts a investigation. Moreover, two days earlier, Mr. Karidogiannis was appointed to the board of directors of the Société de transport de Laval by city council.
“Mr. Karidogiannis allegedly abused his position when explicitly demonstrates its intention to use its status as a” politician “to influence the decisions of the Board […]. It exceeded its responsibilities within the municipal administration of the City of Laval acting irresponsibly his elected status, “it said in the document obtained by the Access to Information Act, signed by Benoît Paquette, deputy director of the Laval police Department.
A month later, the Commissioner of Mamot Richard Villeneuve forwarded the complaints of Mr. Karidogiannis file to the CMQ for “inquiry under section 22 of the Ethics Act and ethics in municipal affairs,” says a letter dated March 11, obtained by La Presse.
An independent prosecutor appointed by the Commission is still analyzing the dossier last week, according to a spokesman for the CMQ. If the Commission concludes that the elected Laval has violated its code of ethics, he could be reprimanded or suspended for a period of 90 days.
“All the confidence of his colleagues”
Demers The mayor’s office fiercely defends the integrity of Vasilios Karidogiannis, member of the Laval Movement, the political party of the mayor. “Mr. Karidogiannis offered moral support to a friend who was having trouble. He did not engage in any action or attempt to influence anyone. His comments on Facebook were open to interpretation and his political opponent translated the worst possible way to embarrass and harm him. Mr. Karidogiannis has the full confidence of his colleagues, is a dedicated councilor and its integrity is no doubt in our mind, “said François Brochu, spokesman for the mayor of Laval. Mr. Karidogiannis refused to grant us an interview.
Michel Trottier, the interim leader of Laval Party, the main opposition to the City Council, believes that the message of Vasilios Karidogiannis “flays public confidence” towards the elect. “It worries me, because that perhaps will mean anything other than a Facebook message. It will perhaps beyond the simple “I’ll help you my friend, ‘” he says. The leader of the new party, formed in March, suggesting the mayor of Demers’ look in his court, since not everything is white like snow in Laval Movement “.
The BIEL was created in 2014 by Mayor Marc Demers, a former police officer in Laval, to address the “collusion, embezzlement and political interference for partisan purposes, and any misconduct in the administration and management of public funds. ” It is managed by the Laval Police Department independently.
Fights and organized crime
Buonanotte restaurant was suspected by the Liquor Control Board for hosting repeatedly gang members and people linked to organized crime from 2008 to January 2015. In recent years, a dozen fights between customers Buonanotte broke out, one in 2011 involving twenty people. Two days before the hearing, restaurant owners agreed with the Police Service of the City of Montreal (SPVM) to prohibit access to clients with criminal records identified by investigators. The liquor license of the establishment had also been suspended for 40 days. The restaurant is committed to the SPVM to meet a series of stringent security measures and transparency.