Charbonneau fallout: VP, Loto-Québec reassigned
Another career has been sidelined by the barrage of allegations at Quebec's corruption inquiry — with the latest fallout affecting a senior executive at the provincial gaming corporation.
Pierre Bibeau, a prominent organizer in the provincial Liberal party, has been temporarily reassigned from his job as a vice-president at Loto-Quebec while he fights to clear his name.
Bibeau is alleged to have solicited and received a $30,000 cash donation from a former construction company boss for a fundraiser featuring his former spouse, who was then Quebec's environment minister.
His reassignment comes one day after construction magnate Tony Accurso announced his retirement and after the inquiry's chief counsel stepped aside over what he described as the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Someone else accused of wrongdoing at the inquiry is fighting to clear his name.
Montreal's former city manager Robert Abdallah has called a news conference for Thursday to address allegations about a $300,000 kickback allegedly destined for him.
The allegations of bid-rigging and illegal political financing have come out during eight days of testimony from ex-construction boss Lino Zambito.
Zambito is now being cross-examined. A lawyer for the City of Montreal is challenging the witness to explain memory gaps while seeking inconsistencies in his story.
Earlier in his testimony, Zambito explained that certain companies, including his own, operated as a cartel.
He testified that these companies colluded to drive up the cost of contracts with a 2.5 per cent commission going to the Italian Mafia on rigged contracts.
He has also said that, in 2005, he began paying the equivalent of three per cent in kickbacks to the ruling political party in Montreal, along with additional bribes to city engineers and bureaucrats.
He has also said that he's heard that a 2.5 per cent cut of contracts in Laval, north of Montreal, went directly to that city's mayor.
Zambito has also admitted to illegally funding political parties at the provincial level. The inquiry says it will not explore whether such wrongdoing occurred at the federal level.
None of Zambito's allegations have been proven in court. As many as half-dozen lawyers could choose to cross-examine Zambito.
Photo: Canadian Press