Mayor of Saint-Rémi arrested again on corruption charges

The mayor of Saint-Rémi, Michel Lavoie, has been arrested by Quebec's anti-corruption unit on charges of embezzlement for the second time.

Michel Lavoie and councillor Louise Trudeau-Lefrançois face embezzlement charges

Saint-Rémi mayor, Michel Lavoie, was first arrested on Dec. 14, 2012 , following accusations of embezzlement, fraud and conspiracy. (Radio-Canada)

The mayor of Saint-Rémi, Michel Lavoie, has been arrested by Quebec's anti-corruption unit today on charges of embezzlement. It's the second time.

According to a statement from Quebec's permanent anti-corruption unit, UPAC, police arrested Lavoie and municipal councillor Louise Trudeau-Lefrançois at their south shore homes early Friday morning.

"Today, another component of the investigation allowed us to bring new charges of embezzlement against Michel Lavoie and also accuse Councillor Louise Trudeau-Lefrançois, for abusing their positions as elected officials for the purpose of personal gain,” wrote UPAC commissioner Robert Lafrenière, in a statement.

Arrested for the second time

Lavoie was suspended from his post last August by the Quebec Superior Court under Bill 10, which allows elected officials to be suspended while facing criminal charges.

The mayor was first arrested on Dec. 14, 2012 , following accusations of embezzlement, fraud and conspiracy.

According to UPAC, Lavoie is alleged to have discouraged bidders from purchasing certain plots of land, modified zoning codes, handled tenders and circumvented rules for awarding contracts.

If convicted, Lavoie faces up to 14 years in prison. He is set to appear in court on Jan. 15, 2014.

Lavoie is running again in the municipal elections this November, despite the charges against him and the fact that he was suspended from his functions as mayor.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.