By Tracey Arial
Last week, Laval police reported on the first year of the city’s new ethics and integrity office (Bureau d’intégrité et d’éthique de Laval or BIEL).
The office has investigated 85 reports of corruption, fraud or misconduct since it began operating in March 2014.
“We can state for certain after one year that our efforts are already bearing fruit,” said Laval Police Chief Pierre Brochet. “We’ve set up a system so that if you don’t respect your contracts, you will be found out.”
So far, complaints are divided almost equally between crimes (43) and misdeeds (42). Crimes are handled by the police; misdeeds are handled by bureaucrats.
The police team led by Brochet now includes Chantal Sicard, Yves Fournier and Chantale Desrochers. So far, they have handled 43 complaints that concerned accusations of fraud, intimidation and theft.
Eleven of these cases went to the provincial anti-corruption police squad UPAC (l’Unité permanente anticorruption). One of these was an investigation into political hiring by Aglaïa Revelakis that The Suburban reported on, Feb. 11.
Two other complaints led to 15 arrests. Fourteen people were accused of loading snow-clearing trucks half-full before they began their work. Another person was accused of intimidation relating to soccer field improvements.
Twenty police investigations are still under way; six are being analyzed and another six cases have been closed. Investigators reported that five of the closed cases were without merit.
Brochet’s team also handled more than a dozen requests for information about ethical behaviour in specific situations. In future, he plans to create information about how city workers and suppliers can handle contracts fairly. He also has to finish hiring the rest of the BIEL team.
BIEL received an additional 42 complaints that were administrative in nature and given to city bureaucrats to handle.
No additional information was provided about those files in the report, but The Suburban has covered two complaints against Pierre Anthian: One because he decided to pay homeless people to clear snow; and the other because he paid a lawyer to prove that Laval could set up smart parking.
Now that BIEL is in its second year, Brochet says that its emphasis will be encouraging people to call its hotline 450-575-BIEL (2435) or send investigators an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.