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‘I’m the only person who is really exonerated,’ investigated councillor says

An investigation into who leaked confidential municipal information was the subject of an explosive city council meeting this week.

Integrity commissioner George Rust-D’Eye’s six-page report, titled Leaked Documents, was publicly released to council, causing heated exchanges between Coun. Gilles Tessier and Mayor Joanne Savage and Tessier and Coun. Jamie Restoule.

signThe confidential documents pertain to a lawsuit involving the municipality and a local contractor, MX Constructors, over a number of projects the municipality argued had been paid without its authority.

In late January, the OPP accepted a formal request from the chief of the West Nipissing Police Service to conduct an independent investigation into dealings between the municipality and the contractor.

Members of the anti-rackets branch of the Ontario Provincial Police charged three people.

Marc Gagnon, 49, of West Nipissing was charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, breach of trust, fraud on government, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering forged documents.

Luc Rifou, 42, of West Nipissing was charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, breach of trust, fraud on government, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering forged documents.

Steve Morrison, 42, of Sturgeon Falls, was charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, fraud on government, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and uttering forged documents.
None of the charges have been proven in court, while the lawsuit is still in the legal discovery stage.

Confidential documents that ended up on the seat of a vehicle belonging to one of the accused were given to city councillors during an April 19 closed-session meeting.

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