Ex-Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay testifies at fraud trial of former right-hand man

Ex-mayor Tremblay takes stand at fraud trial

MONTREAL — Ex-Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay took the stand on Monday as a Crown witness at the fraud trial of Frank Zampino, his former No. 2 at city hall.

The three-term mayor testified at the corruption trial where Zampino is one of six people facing fraud and breach of trust charges stemming from a deal for a housing project dubbed Faubourg Contrecoeur, built on what was once city-owned land.

The sprawling property in the eastern part of the city was sold in 2007 to Group Catania for a fraction of its assessed value.

Authorities have alleged municipal officials were slipping privileged information to the company and in exchange, the accused allegedly received financial kickbacks and other gifts.

Charges were laid in 2012 and a trial began this year after numerous delays.

Six people are currently on trial before a judge alone, including Zampino, construction boss Paolo Catania and four of his employees.

One accused has passed away and another will be tried separately at a later date.

Tremblay, who described himself as a retired lawyer to the court, described Zampino as an exceptional “right-hand man” with pertinent experience, having straightened out the finances of the former municipality of St. Leonard while serving as its mayor.

He said he placed Zampino in charge of the project, which involved numerous city departments, because he was the right person to make it happen.

“I needed the person who had the most competence, the most experience to co-ordinate all that, and that was Mr. Zampino,” Tremblay testified.

As for Catania, Tremblay said they crossed paths at fundraisers, but never spoke about specific projects.

Zampino was the chair of Tremblay’s executive committee, which is the municipal equivalent of a government cabinet.

Tremblay, who was elected mayor in 2001, 2005 and 2009, told the court he wouldn’t have ascended to the mayoralty without Zampino’s support.

Tremblay, who resigned in 2012, returns to the stand on Tuesday.

The Canadian Press

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wes Barker, second from left, with fellow Big Trick Energy show performers on “Ellen,” in video posted to youtube.com.
VIDEO: On ‘Ellen,’ former Langley man works magic with new ‘Big Trick Energy’ gang

A decade ago, Wes Barker quit his job with the City of Surrey to do magic professionally

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020.   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More Langley-area business closed due to COVID-19

Any business with three or more cases among employees can be closed

Vancouver Giants victorious over the Royals in Kamloops Thursday, April 15. The G-Men won, 4-0. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants young goalie shutouts Victoria, 4-0

The Langley-based WHL team earn another victory over the Royals Thursday in Kamloops

Critter Care’s first ever 50/50 winner is Kim Madill, who took home $28,852.50. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Winner takes home $28,852.50 through Critter Care’s first virtual 50/50

Kim Madill instantly donated part of the funds to the Langley-based wildlife society

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is moving forward on efforts to help citizens of Hong Kong remain in Canada rather than have to return. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Painful Truth: Canada’s immigration hopes may not be enough in post-COVID world

In a world of declining birth rates and rising wealth, where do new Canadians come from?

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read