CJC announces further probe of Quebec judge

A Federal Court judge has recommended a further review of the conduct of a Quebec Superior Court judge mentioned at the Quebec corruption inquiry.

According to the Canadian Judicial Council, a panel of three judges will undertake a further review of the conduct of Superior Court Justice Michel Déziel after allegations against him surfaced at the inquiry this spring. Since then, Federal Court Justice and Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada Chief Justice Edmond Blanchard, vice chairman of the judicial conduct committee, has reviewed the allegations and “has decided that this matter would benefit from further consideration by a panel of three judges,” the Canadian Judicial Council announced on Friday.

The panel will include three judges, two of whom are members of the Canadian Judicial Council, who will look into the case and decide whether the federal body should close the file or take other measures.

“Council takes the review of complaints about a judge’s conduct seriously and treats every complaint in accordance with its complaints procedures,” the Canadian Judicial Council said.

The allegations date back to the 1997 municipal election campaign in Blainville, Que., when Déziel was a lawyer and organizer for the sitting mayor. Corruption inquiry witness Gilles Cloutier has alleged Déziel gave him $30,000 with instructions to find people to pose as donors to the campaign.

Déziel joined the Superior Court bench in November 2003. The allegations against him first arose at the commission of inquiry on the awarding and management of public contracts in the construction industry in May. The inquiry, chaired by fellow Superior Court Justice France Charbonneau, has been probing allegations of corruption and collusion in the awarding of government construction contracts, including any links to the financing of political parties, since 2011.

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