A much awaited witness to testify at the Quebec’s corruption inquiry, Frank Zampino, who is a former head of the city’s executive committee and twice acclaimed mayor of Saint-Léonard, alleged he was never involved in any of the so-called “turnkey election.” Zampino testified in front of the commission this morning, explaining his account since his entrance into politics in the mid 1980s.
Zampino elucidated that his entry into political was a “fluke.” He recounted that the former mayor of St-Leonard visited him in the summer of 1986 and asked if he wanted to run for office. Zampino stated, that “he told me, ‘it doesn’t take a lot of your time.'” Consequently, Zampino won a spot on council that year and a little later ended up leading a successful run for mayor in 1990 in light of a controversy over new business taxes divided the sitting mayor’s party. He remained in the city mayor’s office and then of the borough in the amalgamated municipality, until 2008. In two of those elections, Zampino and several councillors were acclaimed and didn’t have to mount election campaigns.
However, Zampino completely denied any involvement, knowledge or acquaintance of so-called turnkey elections, criticized by several preceding witnesses as one in which the outcome is arranged in advance. He alleged that “I’ve been in politics for 22 years,” and “if your question is to know if I was aware of the existence of turnkey elections, the answer is no.”
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