Montreal's former executive council president Frank Zampino has quit his new job as CFO of a company linked to a controversial public water meter contract.
Zampino tendered his resignation Tuesday as vice-president of Dessau Incorporated, a Montreal-based engineering company that is part of GÉNIeau, a consortium of businesses that won the lucrative $355-million water meter contract.
The former municipal politician, who joined the company three months ago, said in a statement he is resigning out of respect for the firm's employees.
"I took this decision by respect for Dessau's executives and the company's 4,000 employees and because, in the face of such ruthless media hostility towards myself, as my integrity is relentlessly and without any evidence under attack, this situation can be detrimental to the organization," Zampino said.
In recent weeks, Zampino has come under fire for his role in the water meter contract.
He admitted vacationing twice with Tony Accurso, a Montreal entrepreneur whose company is also part of the water meter consortium. Zampino and his wife joined Accurso for a Caribbean holiday at their own expense, while the water meter contract tender was still open.
Accurso's other construction business endeavors are currently under investigation for alleged federal tax fraud. In his Tuesday statement, Zampino said he should have refused the vacation invitation.
The Montreal water meter contract is on hold indefinitely while the city's auditor reviews it, at Mayor Gérald Tremblay's request.
The actual cost of the contract has come into question. The consortium agreed to install 33,000 metres at a cost of $355 million. The City of Toronto recently paid $219 million to install 72,000 meters.