Stories of the Year - January to May 2016

JANUARY

Security concerns at community mailboxes accumulate

Carmen Marie Fabio

PHOTO BY MONIQUE BISSONNETTE

Investigators at the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Beauharnois-Salaberry, and Haut-Saint-Laurent detachments asked for the public’s help to identify suspects who had been breaking into community mailboxes in order to steal packages. Since December 2015, dozens of mailboxes had been broken into in Hudson, Vaudreuil-Dorion, St. Lazare, Rivière-Beaudette, and Rigaud, and further reported thefts in Salaberry de Valleyfield, Ste. Martine, Ormstown and Godmanchester.

Within half an hour the morning of January 27, Your Local Journal was able find four community mailboxes between St. Lazare and Hudson that had numerous doors forced open and parts of broken locks found on the premises.

Hudson issues continue to simmer

Carmen Marie Fabio

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

While Hudson elected officials recently early in 2015 that a municipal employee had been suspended for a two-week period pending an internal investigation, they declined to reveal any more details citing confidentiality.

“It’s an administrative issue,” said Mayor Ed Prévost reached after the January 11 council meeting, referring all queries to Director General Jean-Pierre Roy.

“I can’t confirm or deny the information,” said Roy of the issue that was simply referred to as an ‘Employee matter’ on the monthly meeting agenda. “I have a resolution of confidentiality and restricted confirmation of any information concerning this suspension. This is for fair process of investigation.”

Update: Over the course of 2016, six employees of the Town of Hudson were suspended from their duties. At least one did not return to her position and filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the town.

FEBRUARY

Former Hudson DG sentenced to 30-month jail term

Carmen Marie Fabio

PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO

An unrepentant Louise Leger-Villandré was sentenced to 30 months in jail on February 22 for defrauding the Town of Hudson $1.1 million over a period of 17 years.

“Quel beau gâchis,” said Judge Michel Mercier at the Valleyfield Courthouse decrying the messy situation Leger-Villandré created after her initial arrest on 19 charges in October, 2014 and her subsequent guilty plea in December, 2015, to six counts of fraud, breach of trust, and using forged documents.

Despite her guilty plea to stealing the money while earning a six-figure salary from the town throughout her career in municipal politics, she claims to be bankrupt and unable to make financial restitution to the town.

“We will try to get our money back,” said Hudson’s current Director General Jean-Pierre Roy. “I won’t disclose our precise strategy but we have a plan