POLITICS

Ex-Quebec cabinet minister Tomassi opts for judge and jury trial

09/11/2012 06:44 EDT | Updated 11/11/2012 05:12 EST
QUEBEC - A former minister in the Quebec government has opted to have his fraud trial heard by a judge and jury.

Lawyers for former Family minister Tony Tomassi waived his right to a preliminary hearing during a court session in Quebec City.

The trial date will be set on Dec. 3.

The ex-Family minister was forced to resign in 2010 after reports surfaced he had been using a credit card provided by a company that had received millions in government grants.

Tomassi faces charges of fraud and breach of trust stemming from accusations he accepted material rewards from the company.

There were also allegations of cronyism in the awarding of day care contracts while he was family minister but Premier Jean Charest defended him against Opposition attacks.

The allegations resurfaced in the recent election as part of Parti Quebecois efforts to depict Charest's government as corrupt.

Tomassi sat as an Independent until quitting politics in May.