Quebec provincial police boss Mario Laprise steps down

The director general for Quebec's provincial police, Mario Laprise, is leaving his post and returning to Hydro-Québec.

Minister Lise Thériault lays out new process to select future Sûreté du Québec director general

SQ director general, Mario Laprise, is leaving his post for a new role with Hydro-Québec. (Radio-Canada)

The director general for Quebec's provincial police, Mario Laprise, is leaving his post.

Labour Minister Lise Thériault announced the change at a news conference this afternoon, and laid out a new process to select future heads of the Sûreté du Québec.

Thériault said it was Laprise's decision to step down for a new role with Hydro-Québec.

“I can only salute the work he did and wish him the best of luck in his new role,” said Thériault.

That work included a routine check into the books that resulted in four former high-ranking members of the force —  including Laprise's predecessor, Richard Deschênes — charged with fraud-related offences.

The men allegedly used a $26 million police fund to create a secret retirement fund.

The money was meant for extra costs related to police investigations, such as paying informants or covering the cost of drugs in undercover operations.

One of the men responded to the allegations by filing a $1.5 million lawsuit against Laprise.

Laprise was chosen to become director general in October 2012 by the previous Parti Québécois government.

He worked for the SQ for 26 years before leaving the force to head up Hydro-Québec's industrial security team in 2005. He headed Operation Carcajou, a joint squad of SQ, RCMP and Montreal police officers created in 1995 and tasked with cracking down on biker gangs.

New committee 

Thériault also announced the creation of a new committee to select the next director general for the SQ, a position usually appointed by the provincial government.

The minister said the new committee will be made up of four people with expertise in police operations and the justice system.