Levesque Had Nothing To Gain From Telling Mayor

Posted on Thursday, December 7, 2017 16:27 PM

JP Levesque is sharing his take on a series of events in 2016 that are at the heart of his breach of trust and obstruction of justice trial.

Levesque recounted that he told Mayor Hobbs that an associate of  Sandy Zaitzeff's had contacted the RCMP. 

Hobbs then informed Levesque that he knew the name of the person who had provided the statement to the RCMP.

Levesque said from what he understood the Mayor fully suspected that a police investigation was coming.

According to Levesque, Hobbs told him that Zaitzeff was trying to bring him down. 

Levesque then told Hobbs that this wasn't the time or place to talk about it. 

Defense lawyer Brian Gover asked Levesque if the way Hobbs reacted to this news surprised him.

Levesque said he fully expected Hobbs to act poorly, that "he can be somewhat temperamental and emotional.  I was quite surprised by how calmly he took the information."

He also told court that he was concerned that the Zaitzeff camp might release the extortion information on either social media or traditional media suggesting it was similar to the viral video that was making the rounds featuring both Zaitzeff and the Mayor.  

Levesque reiterated that the Hobbs extortion case might be leaked and he didn't want to leave Deputy Sylvie Hauth alone to deal with it.

"I have made an effort to insulate my senior staff from having to deal with the Mayor.  The exception was Deputy Andy Hay who sometimes dealt with him. I felt that it was my role, since he was sometimes difficult to deal with."

Levesque also told the court that had Hobbs found out by other means, his concern was that the Mayor would start badgering the new Deputy for more information since Levesque was away on vacation.   "I felt that it was my role as the Chief to have that difficult conversation with the Mayor rather than the Deputy."

Chief Levesque then clarified to the court that he felt that Hobbs would be interviewed by police at some point soon and that Hobbs wasn't a flight risk. 

Gover asked Levesque if he was trying to hinder the investigation and he answered "No, I would not." 

He added that there was nothing for me to gain from having this conversation with Hobbs and it was not a matter of professional courtesy.   I thought it was very likely that Hobbs was going to become aware of the extortion complaint.  

Other testimony surrounded the other people Levesque briefed on the situation.

Levesque said he never was given a reason before not share confidential information with City Manager Norm Gale.

In Police Board Chair Jackie Dojack's case, she needed to be made aware of issues that are in the community's interest.

The Defense Counsel also talked about the 2016 meeting between RCMP and City Police regarding the Hobbs extortion case.

Levesque noted that the RCMP didn't say anything about the witness being confidential or that the information was confidential.

Later when the RCMP called Levesque about a possible leak, Levesque said he admitted he told Hobbs and they answered "Oh, that explains it" or something like that.  They then wished each other Merry Christmas.

Finally, Levesque explained that he received an email from OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes while he was away in Mexico on holidays.

He asked Levesque to call him to discuss a death investigation that the OPP were being asked to take over.

During that call the Hobbs extortion case was brought up and Hawkes chuckled because he knew the history between Mayor Hobbs, former Chief Bob Herman and Levesque.

Levesque said he wanted to see the investigation from the RCMP before handing it over to the OPP because he didn't want to "drop a pile of crap" on someone elses lap.

He explained to the court that they need to do their own investigation before handing it over to another police force.  

"I like to satisfy myself that the allegations are actually set out in the complaint and that there's validity to it."

Cross examination of Chief Levesque led to his relationship with the Mayor again.

This time it came out that Hobbs had allegedly asked Levesque to bury a taxi fraud charge that Zaitzeff was facing.

Crown Attorney Jason Nicol said that Hobbs asked Levesque if there was anything he could do, because the fine had been paid, to which Levesque answered no. 

Nichol suggested that Hobbs would try to exploit his position as Mayor and call the police service to try to get an inside track.   

Levesque again said he insulated his senior staff from the Mayor because he felt it was his role to deal with the Mayor because he can be difficult, volatile and hard to deal with. 

Nichol also had a problem with the City Police handling the investigation into Sandy Zaitzeff saying there was a conflict of interest. 

Cross examination will continue tomorrow.

Levesque's family have been at the court all this week and includes his Mother, Father, Wife and two Daughters.