Quebec Bar President suspended for allegedly shoplifting jeans
MONTREAL – The board of directors of the Quebec Bar asked the president, Lu Chan Khuong, to resign on Wednesday and suspended her after she refused.
The board held a special meeting on Wednesday after La Presse revealed the existence of a non-judicial record of an offence committed by Khuong, shoplifting jeans in a store.
By accepting that her file be diverted from the judicial process, she avoided criminal charges and a trial.
After analyzing her explanations and the La Presse article, the board of directors announced that “the facts and comments connected to this private situation are incompatible with the functions of the president of the Quebec Bar,” it wrote in a statement distributed Wednesday afternoon.
Faced with her refusal to resign, the board decided unanimously to immediately suspend the president from her duties until further notice.
In its statement, the board indicated that Khuong confirmed being the subject of a complaint for shoplifting in a store in Laval, and that her file was processed under the “program to deal non-judicially with certain criminal offences committed by adults” in 2014.
The board said it had no choice but to act in order to maintain public confidence in the bar.
“The board of directors came to this difficult decision, even though the president’s arrival had been noted and appreciated by members of the board. She succeeded, quickly, at creating a collaborative environment within the board of directors,” explained the chief executive of the bar, Lise Tremblay, in the statement on behalf of the board.
“Despite this, after analyzing the situation, the board of directors unanimously decided to ask for the resignation of president Khuong, which she refused.”
In addition, the bar indicated that some of the quotes attributed to Khuong in the La Presse article concerning the operation of the justice system “are worrying,” without specifying which.
The non-judicial handling of an offence can be decided on by the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales when the act is a minor offence that doesn’t pose a real threat to society.
The decision is only taken when it has determined that the fault attributed to the offender is an offence that can be proven.
Diverting the charges is often offered in exchange for community service.
In May, Khuong became the first elected female president of the Bar Association, with nearly 66 per cent of the votes.
© 2015 The Canadian Press