Three City of Montreal employees have been suspended with pay following explosive testimony about municipal corruption at the Charbonneau commission.

The city said the office of its comptroller general is investigating the three workers, two of whom had oversight on construction projects.

The employees — Yves Themens, Michel Paquette et François Thériault — were all named by former construction executive Lino Zambito in his testimony on Monday at the Charbonneau commission.

All three work for the infrastructure department.

Zambito said Themens furnished him with a secret list of companies that were bidding on projects that his Infrabec Construction was also interested in bidding for. Engineers Paquette and Thériault authorized "extras" that inflated the cost of certain projects, Zambito said.

The city said it met with all three employees individually to give them a chance to explain their version of events.

Retired engineers investigated

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Quebec's Order of Engineers said it is investigating two other former city engineers who Zambito has alleged got kickbacks while they were working on construction files.

The body will look into Gilles Surprenant, who once oversaw construction plans and specifications for Montreal, and Luc Leclerc.

Both engineers vacationed with Zambito in Mexico in 2002. Zambito told Radio-Canada that he paid for Leclerc's trip, but Leclerc said he thinks he covered his flight and accommodation, though he allowed that he doesn't remember exactly.

The Charbonneau commission is looking into allegations of collusion and corruption in the awarding of public construction contracts, as well as the involvement of organized crime and ties to political parties.

Earlier on HuffPost:



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  • Quebec's corruption inquiry has heard an exhaustive history of the Italian Mafia -- how it was created, how it got into the construction business, and how pervasive it is. One witness, Italian-born criminology PhD Valentina Tenti, shared a document recovered by Italian police that purports to hold the "Ten Commandments" of the Sicilian Mafia, known the "Cosa Nostra" (Our Thing). <em>With files from The Canadian Press</em>

  • 10. No Easy Meetings

    No one can present himself directly to one of our friends ("amico nostro"). There must be a third party to do it.

  • 9. Never Look At The Wives Of Friends.

  • 8. Never Be Seen With Cops

  • 7. Don't Go To Pubs And Clubs

  • 6. Stay Available ALWAYS

    Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty -- even if your wife is about to give birth.

  • 5. Appointments Must Absolutely Be Respected.

  • 4. Wives Must Be Treated With Respect

  • 3. Be Truthful

    When asked for any information, the answer must be the truth.

  • 2. Respect The Cash

    Money cannot be taken if it belongs to others or to other families.

  • 1. Keep It Exclusive

    People who can't be part of Cosa Nostra: Anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a traitor for a relative, anyone who behaves badly and doesn't hold to moral values.