By Robert Frank
A ten-year veteran of the Laval Fire Department is slated to appear in criminal court today.
Benoît Gagnon, who worked at the Vimont fire station, will answer to seven counts of fraud.
Court documents allege that he submitted a misleading curriculum vitae accompanied by several faked documents when he applied to join the municipal fire service: A transcript from high school and from Montmorency College, academic diplomas high school and CEGEP as well as a professional firefighter school diploma.
Police filed the charges against Gagnon Jan. 27. The minutes of the March 4 executive committee meeting show that the city subsequently voted to suspend Gagnon from his job without pay. It ordered that the suspension be made retroactive to Feb. 21.
“He was simply unqualified to do the job in the first place,” a city official told The Suburban, adding that there was no suggestion that Gagnon acted improperly during his decade-long tenure as a Laval firefighter. Indeed, Gagnon reportedly earned citations for responding to the collapse of the Concorde overpass in 2006, and the Villa Ste. Rose retirement residence fire in 2013.
The official added that Gagnon’s alleged lack of qualifications might never have come to light, had his former companion not blown the whistle on him after their relationship hit the rocks.