MNA's company vehicle erroneously identified at Mob hangout
Commission prosecutor says digits in licence plate were reversed
A Quebec MNA who got swept up in the province's corruption inquiry after a police officer testified that his company vehicle was spotted outside a Mafia hangout has been officially cleared in that incident.
On Thursday, the commission's chief prosecutor told the hearing that a vehicle initially identified as belonging to MNA André Villeneuve's Mirage flooring company outside the Consenza Social Club was actually another vehicle entirely.
An RCMP officer listed off a number of vehicles caught on police surveillance as part of a massive investigation into organized crime between 2002 and 2006.
That list includes cars and trucks from companies like ATG Paving, Infrabec and Mivela Construction, all of which had executives caught on RCMP surveillance cameras handing over wads of cash to mobsters inside the club.
Villeneuve, a former construction entrepreneur, said he was "stupefied" when he heard his company name on that list.
"I really want to see the proof of this, because my vehicles that I had…. I really want to see it, because I categorically deny — I don't even know where it is," he said in September.
On Thursday, prosecutor Sonia Label told the commission that a reversal of digits in the licence plate numbers led to Villeneuve's company vehicle to be included in that list.
"After investigation by the commission, we can confirm that the name of this company, Plancher Mirage, André Villeneuve, should not have been presented as evidence before the commission," she said. "The plate [observed] by the RCMP was not that of a vehicle from his company."