Judge Michel Girouard Superior Court was temporarily suspended from his duties Monday, January 7, 2013.
Credits: TVA screengrab
MONTREAL - Alleged connections to violent, and possibly murderous, drug dealers have two Quebec judges under investigation this week.
Superior Court judge Michel Girouard and Quebec court judge Marc Grimard have been barred from taking on new cases while their respective bosses examine an informant's claims against them.
Sources say a police collaborator has accused one judge of buying cocaine from a dealer who was later arrested in a large sweep that netted 50 suspects in 2010. The reputed drug dealers face charges including first-degree murder.
The informant also named a second judge, say sources.
The Quebec Court said in a statement that it takes the allegations against judge Grimard "very seriously," but didn't mention possible sanctions.
"For the moment, judge Grimard is not being assigned any new cases," said the court. "Quebec Court is following the situation very closely and will take appropriate measures."
Girouard is on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Canadian Judicial Council, the
Ottawa-based agency that oversees the conduct of federally appointed judges.
Spokeswoman Johanna Laporte told QMI Agency on Tuesday that the council could issue a reprimand letter or appoint an independent lawyer to examine the case. She says the council doesn't have to wait for criminal charges before making a decision.
"What council is focused on is the confidence of the public in the judge's ability to remain on the bench," said Laporte.
The council could also hold a public inquiry, though she said such a move is very rare, with only nine such hearings in the past 40 years.