After her chief of staff, it is the turn of the mayoress of the Montreal borough of Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce to sue the administration of Valérie Plante for defamation.
Sue Montgomery claims $ 120,000 from the mayor, the City of Montreal and the Comptroller General Alain Bond, that is, $ 90,000 for “injury to reputation, dignity, honor and privacy”, as well as $ 30,000 for punitive damages.
She is represented by Me Éric Oliver, from the firm Municonseil Avocats.
In the 14-page motion filed on June 4 at the Montreal courthouse, Ms. Montgomery explains that she “seeks redress for the damage she suffered as a result of the defamatory remarks that the defendants made against her in the media ”.
In a statement sent to Radio-Canada on Thursday, the borough mayor claims to have been “treated unfairly. “
“Throughout my life, I have championed the rights of oppressed and marginalized people. Today, I am defending my rights, ”said Sue Montgomery, mayor of the Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.
Last week, his chief of staff Annalisa Harris had also initiated a lawsuit against Valérie Plante, the City of Montreal and Alain Bond, because she felt that her reputation had been unduly tarnished. For her part, she is claiming $ 186,125.
Ms. Harris is at the heart of a controversy that came to light in January 2020, when Sue Montgomery was expelled from Projet Montréal for refusing to fire her on the grounds that she had done psychological harassment towards two City employees. , including the director of the borough, Stéphane Plante.
Since that day, Ms. Montgomery has been portrayed as the sole responsible for the toxic climate in her borough, she alleges.
A real judicial saga
The case has grown to enormous proportions since January 2020. The Comptroller General has turned to the Superior Court to request that Ms. Harris “may not have any communication or participate in any meeting with any official of the borough without regard. to their functions and statutes ”.
Mayor Montgomery, who was challenging the directive, won her case in December 2020, and the Plante administration said in March that she did not intend to appeal the judgment.
The case is nevertheless continuing before the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ).
Sue Montgomery, who allegedly committed twenty ethical breaches, according to the CMQ, called for a stay of proceedings last summer, but her request was rejected in January. Hearings were held in April. The parties are awaiting a decision.
A dispute at taxpayer expense
Last month, the president of the executive committee of the City of Montreal, Benoit Dorais, estimated that the administration had so far reimbursed $ 275,000 in legal fees to defend Ms. Montgomery in court.
“Another week, another lawsuit of Mrs. Montgomery, reacted Thursday the office of the mayoress Plante. It is sad to see the citizens of the Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough left out by their mayor, who prioritizes a variety of legal remedies. “
“The City of Montreal maintains its position: we would have liked a judicial peace in connection with this saga, for the benefit of all, starting with the citizens of the borough”, extract from the declaration of the cabinet of the mayoress Valérie Plante.
In addition, these legal battles did not prevent the mayoress of the borough and her chief of staff from founding a new political party, baptized Courage, for the fall elections in Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. , the most populous borough in Montreal.
Ms. Montgomery will run for a second term for mayor, while Annalisa Harris will seek election as city councilor in the Loyola district. Two other candidates were also announced.