Former Quebec Liberal MNA Tony Tomassi, who was ousted from cabinet in 2010 after corruption allegations surfaced, will plead guilty to fraud rather than stand trial.
The Crown prosecutor responsible for the case Tuesday morning at the Quebec City courthouse said the scheduled June trial wouldn’t go forward and Tomassi would plead guilty.
Tomassi, a 43-year-old former cabinet minister, wasn’t at the hearing and hasn’t been in court since the charges were laid in 2011.
He waived his right to a preliminary hearing in 2012, opting to go straight to trial by jury.
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Tomassi was first elected to represent the Montreal-area LaFontaine riding in 2003.
He was ousted from cabinet and the Liberal caucus in May 2010, shortly after he admitted to using a credit card from the Canadian Bureau of Investigations (BCIA), a now-defunct private security agency, for personal purchases of gasoline while he was a sitting member of the legislature.
The card belonged to his friend, Luigi Coretti, then owner of BCIA, which had received a $4-million grant from the Quebec government.
In October 2011, Tomassi was criminally charged with fraud and breach of trust.
He resigned his post at the national assembly in May 2012.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for June 5 and 6. Tomassi will be required to be in court for those proceedings.
Tomassi was charged with:
- Receiving compensation, an advantage or a benefit from a third-party business dealing with the government, between Nov. 1, 2007, and Dec. 18, 2008.
- Accepting a loan, compensation or benefit from the Canadian Bureau of Investigations and Adjustments security firm in exchange for influence Tomassi had with the government, between July 1, 2006, and Dec. 18, 2008.
- Committing act of criminal breach of trust in relation to the position he held in government.