Former West Nipissing official pleads guilty to uttering forged documents

A former senior official with the Municipality of West Nipissing will serve a six-month conditional sentence after pleading guilty in North Bay court Friday to a charge of uttering forged documents

Other charges against Marc Gagnon, including fraud over $5,000, breach of trust, fraud on government and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, were withdrawn.

Gagnon, West Nipissing’s former director of public works, was charged in 2016 alongside two other men following an Ontario Provincial Police investigation into allegations of financial irregularities involving the municipality.

According an agreed statement of facts, Gagnon signed off on fraudulent invoices resulting in payments of nearly $26,000 to a local construction company.

Superior Court Justice Gregory Ellies accepted a joint submission from Crown attorney Russell Wood and Gagnon’s defence lawyer for a conditional sentence.

Gagnon must serve the first three months of his sentence under house arrest – but with exemptions that accommodate his employment and permit him to attend to the necessities of life – followed by a curfew for the next three months.

He also must complete 60 hours of community service and will be subject to six months of probation.

Court heard that Gagnon has already made a voluntary restitution payment to the municipality of $25,000.