City engineer tells inquiry he was offered escort by construction firms

The Canadian Press
November 13, 2012

MONTREAL - A suspended City of Montreal engineer says the gifts construction companies offered to city employees didn't end at hockey tickets and fancy dinners.

Gilles Vezina testified today that he was offered the services of an escort on at least two occasions by construction companies in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Vezina told Quebec's corruption inquiry that he never accepted the offers of prostitutes, but he did get hockey tickets, fancy dinners and about 30 bottles of wine from entrepreneurs each year.

He says he knew nothing of the system in place where fellow city employees that worked with him have admitted to pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks over the years.

Vezina says he only learned of the kickbacks while hearing the two men testify in front of Quebec's corruption inquiry over the past few weeks.

He says receiving gifts didn't influence his decisions.

Vezina was suspended by the city after his name came up in testimony during the corruption inquiry.