City commission lawyer calls for 317-day suspension for NDG mayor

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Considering that there are only 124 days left until the municipal elections, that would mean that Sue Montgomery would no longer serve her term.

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A lawyer for the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) on Tuesday requested the suspension of the mayoress of Côte-des-Neiges — Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Sue Montgomery for 120 days – representing the remainder of her term before the municipal elections of November 7.

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In a statement following the hearing, Montgomery said she would wait for the CMQ to impose penalties before deciding whether to ask the Superior Court of Quebec to intervene.

“I have no intention of resigning. I have a full list with me at CDN-NDG and together we will work hard to be elected and to finally give the residents of this underserved borough the advice they deserve, ”she said.

At the hearing, held via Zoom, Montgomery’s attorney Eric Oliver argued that his client had already been penalized by the negative publicity of the case and that a reprimand would be sufficient.

However, CMQ’s lawyer, Pierre Robitaille, argued that a reprimand would be insufficient “given the seriousness of the breaches that Ms. Montgomery committed.

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“The suspension in this case remains the only sanction that would adequately meet the objectives set by the legislator to restore citizens’ confidence in elected officials and municipal institutions.

On June 23, CMQ administrative judge Alain Roy ruled that Montgomery had committed 11 ethical breaches, including failure to to show respect and courtesy to co-workers or to ensure a harassment-free work environment.

He also found her in a conflict of interest for having voted three times in the Borough Council to suspend Borough Director Stéphane Plante, claiming that the suspensions – later canceled by the Borough Council – were part of a dispute between Plante and the Comptroller General of Montreal, Alain Bond. He also condemned her for making an out of color joke over a glass of wine with caucus colleagues at her home, suggesting the Borough Director had incriminating photos of Bond.

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Each offense carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in suspension.

Oliver suggested during sentencing arguments that the case against his client amounted to a political vendetta.

“The goal is to prevent my client from being re-elected,” he said.

“What the lawyers of the Commission municipale du Québec are trying to do is to publicly lay as many accusations as possible, to exaggerate in a totally unjustified way the seriousness of these acts to destroy the political reputation of my client”, did he declare.

All of the violations relate to Montgomery’s dispute with the city of Montreal over a 2019 human resources report alleging that his chief of staff, Annalisa Harris, harassed two officials, including Plante.

In December, the Quebec Superior Court ruled in favor of Montgomery, saying the measures Bond implemented to prevent Harris from communicating with officials were draconian and unreasonable.

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Robitaille also hinted that a letter from Montgomery posted online by La Presse on Tuesday showed she questioned the competence of the CMQ and had shown no remorse for the shortcomings.

“It is clear that Ms. Montgomery does not recognize the facts and does not even recognize the power and even the authority of the municipal commission in its role of enforcing codes of ethics and professional conduct,” he said. .

However, Oliver said Montgomery has the right to defend himself in the media.

In his statement, Montgomery said the CMQ did not justify “such a long and unprecedented suspension. And they continue to ignore the Superior Court ruling which found the Comptroller General acted unreasonably and the city fueled the fire in what should have been a simple traffic problem. human ressources.

Roy took the arguments under advisement and promised to deliver a written decision well before the July 27 deadline.

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  1. Sue Montgomery's battle with the City began in September 2019, when she requested an investigation into the work climate in the Côte-des-Neiges — Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.

    City commission finds Montgomery guilty of 11 ethical breaches

  2. Borough Mayor Sue Montgomery.

    Claiming defamation, Sue Montgomery sues Montreal mayor Valérie Plante for $ 120,000

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