Montreal police commander, inspector relieved of duties after criminal allegations surface
Decision to relieve officers comes as police force faces administrative inquiry
A Montreal police inspector and commander have been relieved of their duties after criminal allegations have come to light, said Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet in an letter that was shared on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
Message du <a href="https://twitter.com/Dir_Pichet">@Dir_Pichet</a> : Le <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SPVM?src=hash">#SPVM</a> suspend deux de ses cadres. <a href="https://t.co/4ST0Lw6wuv">pic.twitter.com/4ST0Lw6wuv</a>—@SPVM
Pichet wrote he was informed of the allegations by provincial police.
"I've made the decision to relieve them of their duties starting immediately, for an indefinite period, until everything is brought to light," said Pichet in that tweet.
The officers suspended are Internal Affairs Insp. Martin Renaud and Cmdr. Pascal Leclair, who worked with the Montreal police organized crime unit, sources told CBC's French-language service, Radio-Canada.
La Presse reported on Wednesday morning that Leclair failed to disclose a conflict of interest during a previous investigation.
The newspaper said Leclair was promoted to lead a unit that was investigating the harassment of a female officer in 2011, and Leclair failed to disclose his personal relationship with the officer in question — not only to the Montreal police, but as well, to the Sûreté du Québec, which was assisting the investigation.
In May 2012, an investigator working on the file learned of the relationship. The investigation was then transferred to another unit.
According to Radio-Canada sources, Leclair's suspension is tied to La Presse's report.
Officers relieved of duty multiplying
At the start of March, the deputy director of the Montreal police, Bernard Lamothe, was relieved of his functions for the duration of an investigation into allegations that internal affairs investigators fabricated evidence to keep officers quiet about corruption within the force.
That decision came a little more than a week after Quebec's public security minister launched an inquiry into what he called "systemic" problems within the Montreal police service.
Pichet has already asked all internal affairs investigations which are not currently in front of a tribunal to be transferred to a group of investigators made up of several police forces including the SQ and RCMP, as well as a number of municipal forces.