Montreal’s suspended police chief renounces job, will stay with force
MONTREAL — Suspended Montreal police chief Philippe Pichet, whose tenure was marred by scandals inside the force, will not return as head of the organization but will remain with the department in a new role, Mayor Valerie Plante said Tuesday.
Plante said Pichet, who was suspended in December and temporarily replaced by the head of the provincial police, renounced his claim to his old job and will instead become chief inspector.
“Clearly, he wasn’t the best-placed person to occupy the position of police chief after what happened with the Montreal police service,” Plante told reporters. “He’s a person who has given a lot to the service and we want to recognize that, but we wanted a simple solution which would the best for everybody”
Named police chief by then-mayor Denis Coderre in 2015, Pichet oversaw a series of controversies including a spying scandal involving prominent journalists that led to a public inquiry on protecting the confidentiality of journalistic sources.
His suspension followed the publication of a report by lawyer Michel Bouchard, who wrote the force was filled with warring clans and whose internal investigations department was the subject of accusations of bias.
The report was ordered by the Quebec government.
Plante thanked Pichet for his continued commitment to public service and said his knowledge of the police force would be an invaluable asset in his new role.
Earlier this month, the city released a report by interim chief Martin Prud’homme criticizing Pichet for not taking the necessary steps to reassure the public about the integrity of the police department
Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux told reporters Tuesday he hoped the problems inside the Montreal police force would eventually be solved, but added Prud’homme has been doing “an excellent job.”
“Confidence (in the force) is returning,” Coiteux said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m convinced we named the right person to do the work.”
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2018
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