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Suspended Montreal police chief not likely to return to job: report

Montreal Chief of Police Philippe Pichet speaks to the media at a news conference, on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Montreal. He was suspended in December 2017 with pay.
Montreal Chief of Police Philippe Pichet speaks to the media at a news conference, on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Montreal. He was suspended in December 2017 with pay. Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

Suspended Montreal police Chief Philippe Pichet is not likely to be returning to his job, according to a report made public late Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Philippe Pichet suspended; SQ head takes over SPVM

A report from interim police Chief Martin Prud’homme, given to the public security minister on May 25, recommends that Pichet be removed permanently from his position as chief of the Montreal police.

In a statement, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said, “I consider it very important that Montrealers are informed of the situation concerning their police force. This is why I’m making this report public.

“The conclusions as to the management of the police force are preoccupying. Therefore, I have asked the mayor of Montreal, Madame Valérie Plante to get the recommendation of city council as well as the public security commission as to the situation of Mr. Pichet.”

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READ MORE: Interim Montreal police chief Martin Prud’homme ready to lead change

Coiteux suspended Pichet in December with pay, and appointed Prud’homme, the head of the Surêté du Québec to take over the SPVM for 12 months.

The decision came after an investigation into a series of problems in the SPVM: infighting among different groups within the force, concerns about the working environment and frustration about promotions. The government said that Prud’homme would be in charge of addressing those issues.

Prud’homme’s recent report is the result of the interim chief’s work so far and although he recommends Pichet not be reinstated, he gives no recommendation for who should take over.

Last week, Pichet filed a lawsuit against the city of Montreal because he says his suspension wasn’t justified and he wants to be compensated for lost pay and benefits.

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