MONTREAL – There is no evidence a judge in Quebec’s Abitibi region bought drugs before he was appointed to the bench, ruled Canada’s judicial watchdog, adding Michel Girouard can keep his job.
In its recent ruling, the Canadian Judicial Council rejected misconduct allegations against the Superior Court judge.
N.B. judge late in explaining rulings, Canadian Judicial Council says
Judicial Council to review complaints against judge
Judicial council drops harassment allegations against ‘nude’ judge
“The allegations against the judge were not proven on a balance of probabilities,” states the Canadian Judicial Council.
“Two of the three members of that Inquiry Committee found that there were grounds for concern about certain inaccuracies contained in the judge’s testimony.”
READ MORE: N.B. judge late in explaining rulings, Canadian Judicial Council says
Girouard was first appointed to the bench, in northwestern Quebec, in September 2010.
In 2012, then-chief justice François Rolland asked the council to investigate, amid allegations Girouard bought drugs from an unnamed police informant roughly two weeks before his appointment.
READ MORE: Judicial Council to review complaints against judge
The watchdog organization ultimately concluded there was no evidence proving Girouard tried to purchase an illicit substance.
A panel had recommended last year that Girouard be removed, not because the allegations were founded, but because of the way he acted during the hearings.
“Council further agreed with the Inquiry Committee’s recommendation to either withdraw or not pursue the remaining allegations against the judge because they could not be proven,” states the ruling.
“Accordingly, Council recommends to the Minister of Justice that the judge not be removed from office.”
The council said Wednesday that the panel’s decision was reviewed and rejected because Girouard wasn’t given a chance to respond.
– With files from .