01/18/2013 18:26 EST | Updated 03/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Quebec judge could be in trouble after small claims suit

A legal expert says Quebec judge Ellen Paré could face sanctions after a small claims lawsuit revealed she planned to pay her contractor under the table.

Unhappy with the work on her kitchen counter, Paré took the company, Atelier Granite, to small claims court seeking $7,000 in damages.

The presiding judge awarded her $1500. But he also reprimanded Paré for planning to pay the contractor in cash, without paying any taxes. He noted she didn't even try to conceal that fact and said it was a clear attempt to defraud taxpayers.

University of Montreal professor and judicial procedure expert, Pierre Noreau, said judges have a code of conduct that emphasizes, among other things, integrity.

He said Paré could be called before a council of judges and face sanctions, up to and including being kicked off the bench.

Neither Paré nor representatives for the Quebec Court would comment.