The 3% rebate on contracts of sewers was intended for the “Executive Committee” and not to the Union Montreal party, argued this morning the engineer retired to the city of Montréal, Gilles Surprenant.
In his testimony before the Commission of inquiry on the granting and management of public contracts in the industry of construction (commission Charbonneau), Mr. Surprenant said that at the turn of the Millennium, a system of collusion and corruption has settled. In 2005, his colleague Luc Leclerc, also engineer, told him that a 2.5% rating went to a criminal organization and another 3%, was intended for the Executive Committee. Commissioner Renaud Lachance returned to the charge on this item while Lino Zambito testimony was to the effect that it was Union Montréal, the Party of the Mayor Gérald Tremblay, who pocketed a percentage of the value of contracts awarded by the city. Mr. Surprenant reiterated that the money was to be paid “to the Executive Committee.
In 2005, the president of the Executive Committee was Frank Zampino. The Vice-Presidency was occupied by Sammy Forcillo, Manager until November 2009, finance, taxation, property assessment, infrastructure, highways and water management in the city of Montreal.
Gilles Surprenant also provided details to the commission Charbonneau on his testimony last Thursday. When he recounted his first meeting with the contractor Frank Catania, Mr. Surprenant was said he was intimidated by the words of the man. ‘People who prevent us from eating, one cup them’, had told Mr. Surprenant. He said this morning if souvenu being that Mr Catania had been more direct that his words were rather: ‘people who prevent us from eating, it removes.
Suddenly, Gilles Surprenant said have lived under pressure and fear throughout his career. “I understand that there may be links with a certain criminal organization,” said retired engineer.
Before the commission, this witness admitted having met twice with the godfather of the Montreal mafia, Vito Rizzuto. He even traveled with Mr. Rizzuto to Dominican Republic (Punta Cana) for a stay of a week. Mr. Surprenant has played Golf with Mr. Rizzuto, his colleague Luc Leclerc and the contractor Tony Conte Conex Construction firm. It is the latter which would have paid the expenses of this trip. Mr. Surprenant said that it has not been question of work, that the only common activity was the golf.
On another occasion, the four men gathered at the Le Mirage golf club in Terrebonne.
Last week, Mr. Surprenant had recounted having lent $150,000 to Mr. Conte, who knew financial hardship. The contractor has refunded only one third since he died. Mr. Surprenant had lent money to even bribes received over the years (about $600,000).
The testimony of Mr. Surprenant continues from 2 pm.
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