WATCH: Public security minister asks for patience in investigating Montreal police
Public security minister Martin Coiteux is asking for patience from the public as the investigations into corruption allegations at the Montreal force begin to get off the ground.
He spoke with reporters on Friday, not long after audio recordings from 2015 surfaced, featuring members of the Mafia suggesting that some Montreal police officers were taking bribes.
"We take all of these allegations very seriously," Coiteux said, "and it's precisely that we take them very seriously that I announced last Friday very important and decisive measures."
The audio recordings show lawyer Loris Cavaliere discussing police investigations with two clients. Cavaliere asks his client if he is worried, and the person says he's not: "Police officers are worried about leaks in this matter. That's why Internal Affairs is involved. That doesn't worry me, it's what we're paying them for."
Those remarks were apparently made in connection with Andre Thibodeau, a Montreal police sergeant arrested in January 2015 as part of an investigation into a Mafia-led gambling ring.
Among those measures — expanding the scope of the investigation already underway, involving several police and civilian players, and calling on Montreal police chief Philippe Pichet to write the minister an action plan on how he plans to deal with corruption.
On Friday, the ministry announced it was appointing a veteran lawyer, Michel Bouchard, to lead an administrative investigation into the allegations.
In the past, Bouchard led the investigation into the 2014 Orsainville helicopter prison break.
He's expected to report back to the public security minister no later than September 15.
Meanwhile, there's been a suspension at the top of the Montreal police force, after all that's gone on in the past two weeks.
Assistant director Bernard Lamothe is out indefinitely, after last week's allegations that the force's Internal Affairs department tried to silence two officers who were investigating corruption in the force.
-With files from CTV Montreal