03/27/2013 10:20 EDT | Updated 05/27/2013 05:12 EDT

City seeks $1.1M from three former employees

The City of Montreal is going after three former employees to get them pay up for allegedly accepting kickbacks.

Engineers Gilles Surprenant and Luc Leclerc admitted to the Charbonneau commission that they accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for construction contracts.

Meanwhile, former site supervisor François Thériault admitted he received non-monetary bribes like bottles of wine and hockey tickets.

However, he neglected to mention he also received a $30,000 discount on a house courtesy of Paolo Catania.

Thériault was arrested just last week on several charges including conspiracy, fraud and breach of trust.

He had previously been arrested for perjury and obstruction of justice for his testimony before the Charbonneau commission.

All three men are now being pursued by the city to repay a combined $1.1 million.

Witnesses who testify at the corruption inquiry are given immunity and can’t be prosecuted for what they say on the stand.

Mayor Michael Applebaum said he’s going after them based on evidence that surfaced as a result of internal investigations into city contracts awarded over the past number of years.

The city is looking to reclaim at least $521,300 from Surprenant, $550,000 from Leclerc and $49,130 from Thériault.

“We’ll be going after other individuals and, of course, companies that have taken money from our taxpayers,” he said.

Applebaum said the city must first file grievances against the city workers’ unions, and then go to arbitration to try to recover the $1.1 million.

He said if that doesn’t work, the city will pursue the men in civil court.

“On my side, we’re going to do everything we can to clean up the City of Montreal,” he said.