Zampino Confesses to Have Collected Gifts, But Assures No Malpractice

One of the prime witnesses heard by the Charbonneau commission, Frank Zampino, recently confessed to have received all kinds of gifts from construction bosses, while admitting to have often lunched with some of them, at the time he was the president of the executive committee of the city of Montreal and borough mayor of St. Laurent.

However Zampino confidently asserted that he was never influenced by them, while swearing that it was only a matter of them developing their business, and him listening to those who contribute to the city’s wealth. On the third day of his testimony at Quebec’s highly followed corruption inquiry, France Charbonneau inquired, “so what of the fact that these two contractors get lots of contracts with the city of Montreal, and the fact that you lunched with them.” She alleged “what does it say about appearance of conflict of interest?” Whereas, Zampino responded assuredly, asserting that “people can want more information about a project, to see if just a trial balloon, or if something serious,” and “it’s business development they’re doing. Which doesn’t mean we’re giving them privileged info.”

Having said that, Zampino clarified that in case of when Bernard Trepanier, his old and close friend who was also head of financing for Union Montreal, tried to set him up at a meeting with a contractor, it was out of the question. He stated that “I told him I didn’t want to see a parade of contractors through my office.”

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