Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"The Big Crayfish" busted on video?

Good Day Readers:

You have to wonder if the upcoming Canadian Judicial Council hearing of alleged misconduct by Quebec Judge Michel Girouard like the Douglas Inquiry will descend into deny ... deny ... deny ... delay ... delay ... delay ... obfuscate ... obfuscate ... obfuscate given the CJC is still working from a broken business model - all at your expense. Team Girouard is already making noises about the constitutionality of The Council.

Like Douglas will you see a parade of challenges filed in the Federal Court of Canada while Monsieur Girouard continues to receive his big fat salary and benefits package? After the process cannot be delayed any longer will Team Girouard on the eve of the Inquiry finally getting underway "suddenly" decide to retire? Why should taxpayers think any differently?

BTW, Manitoba Court of Appeal Chief Justice Richard Chartier will Chair the three member panel of inquiry.
Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Quebec judge caught in police sting was seen on security camera buying drugs, judicial council alleges

Graham Hamilton
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Girouard, right, with lawyer Gerald R. Tremblay in Montreal in November 2014. (Graeme Hamilton/National Post)

MONTREAL — ‎Two weeks before Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Girouard was named to the bench in 2010, a security camera recorded him buying illicit drugs in the back office of a video store, the Canadian Judicial Council alleges in a document made public Tuesday.

The information is contained in a 21-page summary of allegations against Judge Girouard, who could be removed from the bench after being caught up in a major Sûreté du Québec drug sting, Operation Crayfish.

The document cites four sources who claim he regularly used cocaine during his years as a lawyer in northern Quebec’s Abitibi region.

They include Dominic Veilleux, an SQ patroller, who was previously a bartender. He said he saw Judge Girouard high on drugs at the Val d’Or bar where he worked in 1988-91.


“He claims to have seen Mr. Girouard going to the washroom with people who were known drug dealers and later in the evening showing signs associated with cocaine consumption,” the document says.

Related

Judge accused of buying cocaine as a lawyer attempts to halt disciplinary procedure before hearings even begin

Michel Thibault, a Val d’Or drug boss turned police informant after his 2010 arrest, swore under oath he had regularly done lines of cocaine with Judge Girouard in his office.

Judge Girouard’s lawyers have questioned the credibility of Thibault, who is serving a 10-year jail term after his drug ring was dismantled during Operation Crayfish. The judicial council document notes he passed a lie-detector test concerning his allegations and his testimony helped convict three other major drug dealers from the region.

Thibault told police he sold Judge Girouard about $100,000-worth of cocaine in 1987-92. He told Marie Cossette, the independent lawyer leading the judicial council’s investigation, the man was a moderate cocaine consumer. “He was not an addict,” he said.

At another point he gave Judge Girouard $10,000-worth of cocaine in exchange for legal services, he said.

The judge’s nomination to Quebec Superior Court was under study in September 2010. when he visited a Val d’Or video store owned by a client, Yvon Lamontagne. Police had Mr. Lamontagne under surveillance as part of Operation Crayfish, and a few weeks later they executed a search warrant to seize the security camera.

‘It’s all baloney. I don’t know what their motivation is’

Their investigation determined Mr. Lamontagne was supplying marijuana for a criminal gang from his store. A police investigator “concluded with certainty” a transaction between Mr. Lamontagne and Judge Girouard caught on the security camera was a drug deal. Judge Girouard told the judicial council he was not buying drugs, but used videos of a sort he did not want to appear in his customer file.

The judicial council is also alleging, based on records of phone calls between Judge Girouard and two alleged Abitibi drug traffickers, he had close ties to organized crime. This suggests “he would not have the necessary distance if he had to hear a case involving criminal organizations,” the judicial council document says.

Gérald Tremblay, a lawyer for Judge Girouard, said his client will contest the allegations when the judicial council holds public hearings. Preliminary legal matters will be addressed next week and a hearing on the substance of the allegations will take place in May

“We have a forum to establish the truth,” Mr. Tremblay said. He intends to begin by challenging the constitutionality of the judicial council’s action, arguing t has jurisdiction over what happens once someone is named judge, “not over 25 years of legal practice.”

He said those accusing Judge Girouard are for the most part criminals with axes to grind.

“It’s all baloney,” he said. “I don’t know what their motivation is, or what the motivation is of the police who take their statements, but these are police informants under contract who are paid.”

Several of Judge Girouard’s friends told the judicial council they never detected signs he used cocaine.

• Email: ghamilton@nationalpost.com 

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