The future of Tony Accurso in the hands of the jury
File Photo Martin Alarie
Monday, 5 February 2018 13:59
Monday, 5 February 2018 14:01
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JOLIETTE | The jury deliberations began in the trial of Tony Accurso, who is accused of having offered travel and a cheque for $ 300,000 to the ex-mayor of Mascouche, in exchange for contracts for his company.
Determine if Tony Accurso knew that the mayor of Mascouche is committing a breach of trust and if he had the intention to help him do it by giving them the cheque of $ 300,000, that is the work that must be done, explained the justice James L. Brunton to the members of the jury, before ordering their sequestration, to noon, Monday, at the courthouse in Joliette.
Although several charges have fallen since the beginning of the court proceedings, Tony Accurso remains accused of having helped the mayor of Mascouche to commit a breach of trust, between November 2006 and December 2008.
During this period, while his company, Simard-Beaudry soumissionnait and obtained contracts with the City of Mascouche, the evidence showed that Tony Accurso has invited Richard Marcotte, three times on his luxury boat the Touch, all expenses paid, including airfare, and that it has made him a cheque of $300 000.
Although Tony Accurso defends himself by saying that Richard Marcotte was his long-time friend and that they have never discussed together the subject of the contracts that his company got to the Town of Mascouche, the existence of the conflict of interest must be considered, said the court in giving its instructions to the jury. “The function of mayor, Mr. Marcotte had the obligation to refuse any advantage on the part of Mr. Accurso. In accepting these gifts, he placed himself in a conflict of interest.”
Even more problematic is the fact that travel, according to the judge, is the granting of the sum of $ 300,000 Accurso claims to have lent to his friend the mayor. “A situation that created a conflict of interest that would last as long as the mayor would be indebted to a supplier of the City.”
Accurso did he know that he placed Marcotte in a situation of conflict of interests and he asked a gesture to help him to commit a breach of trust in the course of his duties as mayor? This is the question facing the jury.
Several of the counts abandoned
Two counts of fraud and conspiracy for fraud were abandoned last December at the request of the Crown. Finally, following a request for acquittal from the defense, on the 24th of January last, the judge took the decision to pay Tony Accurso to one count of bribery of a public official, because of the absence of evidence.