Quebec MNA Tony Tomassi, seen here in September 2011, stepped down Thursday.
Credits: STEVENS LEBLANC/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC/AGENCE QMI
QUEBEC CITY - Former Quebec family minister Tony Tomassi, charged in November with using a contractor's credit card as his personal spending account, quit his legislature seat on Thursday.
Tomassi, who faces trial next month, had been removed from Premier Jean Charest's cabinet in 2010 after his relationship with the BCIA security firm made headlines.
The Crown says Tomassi pocketed advances from BCIA at various locations between November 2007 and May 2010.
He faces two counts of fraud against the government and one count of breach of trust. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Tomassi was the first major figure arrested by a permanent anti-corruption unit created amid scandals linking organized crime, construction firms and party financing at all three levels of government.
The 41-year-old career politician worked for his family's construction business from 1997 to 2003. The firm was later cited several times for performing unlicensed renovation work.
Tomassi is also allegedly linked to a scandal involving the sale of $7-a-day daycare permits on the black market.
The opposition alleges six members of Tomassi's party executive are among those who received licences, and one later sold the permit.
The anti-corruption unit is looking into the $2.1-billion daycare system amid allegations Liberal donors and other members got first dibs on the permits.
Whistleblower Ezio Carosielli, owner of ten private daycares, told a newspaper that permits were being re-sold for up to $500,000 each on the black market.
Carosielli also said he and his wife each donated $1,000 to Charest's Liberals every year from 2003 to 2010.