(Photo retrieved from Pixabay).

Former waste management director sued for $230,000

The former director of the Régie intermunicipale Argenteuil Deux-Montagnes (RIADM), Pierre Gionet, is being sued by the organization for $230,000.

The lawsuit is the result of a 2014 internal investigation into misappropriated funds. 

“This is taxpayer money that we need to recover,” said Carl Péloquin, mayor of Lachute and president of the RIADM.

The RIADM is an intermunicipal waste disposal organization made up of Lachute, Brownsburg-Chatham, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil and Saint-Placide.

Gionet was the RIADM’s director for 15 years before being fired in 2015 following the investigation, which also led to the firing of Nathalie Piret, Lachute’s treasurer at the time. Both are currently fighting the firings in court.

Allegations against Gionet include using RIADM money to pay for a family vacation in Florida, multiple digital cameras, car repairs and modifications, and even a new pair of sandals.

Gionet is reported to refute the allegations and was quoted in the Journal de Montréal as saying, “It’s incredible how the RIADM is distorting reality.”

“We have all the proof included in the investigation,” said Péloquin in response.

Below is a breakdown of the $230,000 for which Gionet is being sued.

  • Cameras: $3,322.67 for four digital cameras and accessories
  • Sandals: $126.52 for sandals that were originally claimed to be boots by Gionet
  • Unclaimed vacation: The lawsuit says Gionet had a “strategy” that allowed for him to not claim any vacation time, resulting in full 52-week salary. Gionet is accused of not claiming vacation since 2006, resulting in an unearned $41,276.68.
  • Florida vacation: Gionet is alleged to have used the RIADM credit card during a family vacation to Florida, and claimed $2,916.83 in expenses.
  • Car repairs and modifications: $2,641.84 for repairs and modifications, including a navigation DVD, to his 2004 Acura MDX paid for by the RIADM
  • Gas: Gionet is accused of claiming for fuel costs including time off, resulting in the RIADM overpaying by an estimated $11,000
  • Other expenses between October 2006 and November 2007: The lawsuit says RIADM overpaid by an estimated $7,000.
  • Legal costs: RIADM’s legal costs totaling $160,607.60.