05/07/2013 08:26 EDT | Updated 07/07/2013 05:12 EDT

2 top Laval officials suspended ahead of corruption inquiry testimony

Two senior officials from the City of Laval have been suspended pending their appearances next week at the Charbonneau commission, the province’s ongoing corruption inquiry.

City manager Gaétan Turbide and assistant city manager Jean Roberge worked closely with former mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, who resigned last fall amid allegations of corruption.

Laval’s city council unanimously backed interim mayor Alexandre Duplessis in his motion to suspend the two employees.

Mayoral candidate Robert Bordeleau of the Parti au Service du Citoyen wondered why city council is removing the men from their jobs.

"Is it because they will talk at Charbonneau on the week of the 13th?” he asked.

“Suspending the two high officers of a city say to the others, 'Don't say a word because we'll suspend you again.’"

Concorde-Bois-de-Boulogne councillor Claire LeBel voted to suspend the two men.

“I gave my approval with a heavy heart,” she said.

“What they told me at the preparatory meeting before the council meeting, was that the two men themselves said that after their appearance at the Charbonneau commission, they would be unable to return to work in their functions,” she continued.

“I was disappointed to hear that because these are people I trusted.”

Still, Emilio Migliozzi of Opposition party Mouvement Lavallois said pulling Turbide and Roberge from their jobs is premature.

“You’re suspending two employees, your top-notch employees, and they have no proof yet,” he said.

Jacques St-Jean, Laval city councillor for St-François, said his fellow councillors are just trying to exercise caution.

“Suppose that we leave them there and at the Charbonneau commission, they just prove [to] us something was bad, people will say, ‘You didn’t make a decision,’” he said.