(Quebec) The ex-ceo of the tracks of the Montreal, Quebec and Three Rivers James Brulotte was found guilty of abuse of trust; it has affected more than 75 000$ in bonus to which he was not entitled.
At the end of 2006, the auditor general of Québec, Renaud Lachance published a devastating report for the Société nationale du cheval de course (SONACC), describing some of the practices of “bad and unacceptable”. The SONACC made so little account to the government that several of its leaders have decided that it was “an open bar”, commented Mr. Lachance.
The quebec government has allocated significant amounts of money to try – in vain – to revive this industry in deficit. According to the summary of evidence of the Crown, the SONACC and its subsidiaries have obtained nearly $ 260 million for this purpose in addition to income operations.
The Sûreté du Québec has begun its investigation in the wake of the report of the VG. Charges of fraud and breach of trust were filed in 2009 against James Brulotte, part of the ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) loaned to the SONACC between 1995 and 2003 to act as president.
James Brulotte has also worked as director general of the tracks of the Montreal, Quebec and Three Rivers.
While his trial was scheduled to finally begin next Monday, James Brulotte has chosen Friday to plead guilty to a charge of breach of trust as a servant.
The Crown alleges that James Brulotte, between 1997 and the end of 2002, hit a bonus in the SONACC amounting to a total of 76 500$ after tax.
Being an officer of the MAPAQ, James Brulotte did not have the right to obtain any compensation in addition to his regular salary, without prior approval of the treasury Board. He was granted this permission, and saw his salary increased by$ 20,000 for the duration of his mandate because of the complexity of its functions to the SONACC.
However, it has also affected the bonus of performance granted each year by the board of directors of the SONACC.
“I should have known that I couldn’t have that amount, replied Jacques Brulotte to the judge Johanne Roy of the Court of Québec. I’ve done a proof of willful blindness, and it is a negligence on my part not to have been aware.”
The parties have requested the preparation of a report pre-decision-making and make their remarks on the sentence on 23 November.