The Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, initiated the process for the dismissal of the Director General of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) Martin Prud’homme, not without challenging him to make public an expert report on the ethical breaches that he faced. are reproached.
The elected official appeared before the media on Friday morning, hours after Mr. Prudhomme toured the media to denounce the injustice he claimed to be a victim of. She confirmed that she referred the police director’s case to the Civil Service Commission – which will investigate and decide whether there is a matter of impeachment – because she ruled “the motive is serious”.
“Put yourself in my place, if I considered it frivolous or minor, we would not have reached the point of appointing the Public Service Commission,” said Minister Guilbault.
In passing, she invited Martin Prud’homme to make public the report of a committee of experts on the deontological and ethical faults with which he is accused. It was on the basis of this report – which the police officer received in June according to the minister – that the impeachment process was launched.
“If Mr. Prud’homme accepts that this report be made public, we have no objection to it being made public,” said Ms. Guilbault.
A “vast part of fishing”
Suspended for more than a year, Martin Prud’homme broke the silence in a statement released early Friday. The top leader claims to be the victim of a “vast fishing expedition aimed at [l]”Associate with media leaks” by the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit (UPAC).
“I learn with dismay and a deep sense of injustice that the government has just mandated the Civil Service Commission to report to it on my possible dismissal from the leadership of the SQ,” he wrote.
Mr. Prud’homme was suspended from his post in March 2019 over “an allegation of criminal offenses” that has never been publicly explained. A year later, Minister Guilbault announced that no criminal charges would be laid against him.
The policeman, who has a 32-year career, deplores the refusal to give him the opportunity to tell his side of the story. He refused to grant an interview to the Duty.
“During the entire investigation, at no time was I informed of the real reasons for my suspension and I was never met to obtain my version of the facts, which goes against the principles of fundamental justice, ”he said in his statement.
He adds that he was “suspended due to a phone call to Me Annick Murphy, director of the Criminal and Penal Prosecutions Directorate (DPCP) dated October 23, 2017”. It is difficult to understand why his dismissal came “more than 16 months” after this call.
According to him, the telephone conversation served as a pretext for an investigation into him. The real reasons for this investigation, he argues, are his ties of friendship with Laval MP Guy Ouellette and his family ties with former UPAC commissioner Robert Lafrenière, of whom he is the son-in-law.
“The real intention behind this investigation [était de] lead a large fishing trip aimed at associating myself with media leaks [que l’UPAC impute au député Ouellette] », He says.
He deplores the start of an administrative investigation into this phone call. It was this investigation, conducted by the Senior Jobs Secretariat, that Minister Guilbault forwarded to the Civil Service Commission. This will determine whether it is necessary to dismiss Mr. Prud’homme, and this dismissal can only be done with the agreement of two thirds of the National Assembly, by virtue of a motion tabled by the Prime Minister. .
Also in his statement, Mr. Prud’homme suggests that he is not ruling out suing Quebec. “I intend to defend my rights and my reputation before a fair and impartial body since I have lost all confidence in the capacity of the political sub-power which has already decided that my career is over,” he writes.
“I have never had the right to defend myself adequately and today I conclude that I am the victim of a government desire to end my 32-year career in public service. “