July 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Formula E debacle: Denis Coderre says promoter busted over fraud allegations

Formula E debacle: Denis Coderre says promoter busted over fraud allegations

Former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre did not want to meet with the promoter who was barred from organizing a Formula E race because of fraud allegations against him, he testified during a trial in which the businessman claimed 3 million from the city.

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“If you have things to blame yourself for, it's worth it, but I won't meet you,” Mr. Coderre said Thursday morning in a Montreal courthouse.

Promoter Alexandre Chocco was accused of being sidelined in July 2017 to organize a Formula E race in favor of Evenco.

Coderre “doesn't want to touch it [M. Choko] with a 20-foot bar” after relaying a story to him from his senior advisor Newspaper About the “allegations of fraud” on his part.

However, he admitted to never having read the article in question.

A devastating report

A damning report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in Montreal revealed that Citi broke the rules to award the contract to host the Formula E (FE) race to Evenco, despite being in the custody of its own lawyers.

Denis Coderre, who was the mayor of the metropolis at the time, defended himself in court by insisting that Evenco had no problems with the fraud allegations and that it was the only company able to host international events in Montreal.

“If I had to do it over again, I would,” he insisted.

The former mayor of Metropolis has indicated on several occasions that his role is “as a match maker and not as a decision maker”. He stated that Evenco had only arranged to meet the FE officials.

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Denial of Evenco

Evenco ultimately declined to act as a promoter of the race in Montreal due to anticipated financial losses.

So the Coderre administration chose a non-profit organization, Montreal Electric, to act as promoter.

“The Legal Assistance Service feared that the NPO was created to circumvent the regulations and award the contract to Evenco, which is why warnings were issued several times,” the OIG report published in 2018 said.

There is only one edition of FE in Montreal. In December 2017, the newly elected head of the metropolis, Valérie Plante, canceled further editions of the race due to the “financial failure” it represented.

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