Crooked bureaucrat: It wasn't my job...
Oct 24, 2012 / 8:24 am
A disgraced Montreal bureaucrat says it wasn't his job to stop corruption at city hall.
Gilles Surprenant, a retired city engineer, is on the stand for a fourth day at an inquiry where he is discussing kickbacks he took on rigged sewer contracts.
Surprenant says the inflated prices were well known in his office, and everyone knew, from his own bosses right down to low-level administrative assistants.
Surprenant says he spoke to his bosses about it but didn't press further. He says it wasn't the role of a simple bureaucrat, such as himself, to go to the police or blow the whistle publicly.
Surprenant has already admitted that he pocketed nearly $600,000 in kickbacks over roughly 20 years.
Surprenant says no one at the City of Montreal wanted rampant collusion but no one did anything to stop it during the era where the practice was most rampant â€” between 2000 and 2009.
He says he wanted a normal career as a city engineer and didn't want any part of the system or the cash he gathered over the years.
He reminded the inquiry he gave back a good portion of the money. Surprenant recently gave nearly $123,000 to authorities, and he says he lost more than $250,000 at the casino which he calls his way of reimbursing the state for the money he took.
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