03/12/2015 05:11 EDT | Updated 05/12/2015 05:59 EDT

Legal committee says Quebec judge shouldn't be removed from the bench

OTTAWA - A Canadian Judicial Council committee says Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Deziel should not be removed from the bench amid allegations of illegal political financing in 1997.

Witness Gilles Cloutier told the Charbonneau Commission in May 2013 that Deziel organized the election campaign for the incumbent mayor of Blainville in 1997, when he was a lawyer.

He testified that Deziel summoned him to his office, handed over $30,000 and told him to find people to pose as donors who would contribute $750 each.

The judicial council's inquiry committee said Thursday that while some of Deziel's actions constituted misconduct as defined in the Judges Act, it was not so serious as to render him unfit to continue to perform his duties.

The committee will present a written report to the council, which will then meet in plenary to consider the case. Deziel and independent counsel will have the opportunity to submit additional written comments.

The council will then send a recommendation to the justice minister.

Deziel was named a Superior Court justice in November 2003.