Verdun, Can., Chief Reinstated
Chief Albert Dubeau, head of the fire and police departments of the city of Verdun, Quebec, Can., who was suspended following a fatal apparatus accident during a test, has been reinstated by a vote of 5 to 3 by the city council.
This closes a chapter of severe recrimination by the “city fathers,” the lines for and against the chief apparently being drawn on strict racial lines. One of the aldermen who voted for the reinstatement of Chief Dubeau said in debating the matter before the mayor and council: “There is nothing in this investigation report of 86 pages which I have in my band to convict Chief Dubeau. I will take the blame with the rest of you for the discrepancies in the department. We are to blame, not the chief.
“If we could only give this report to the public I believe there is not one ratepayer or citizen who would condemn the man. There is nothing in it to condemn the man. You are bringing up petty things, showing we arc responsible for not ‘calling him on the carpet.’ He is not a thief. He has been complimented by the King’s Bench. You have complimented him. Our ex-mayor has complimented him. He has been exonerated in connection with the tragic accident here.”
Previous to the action by the council reinstating the chief, the “Verdun Citizens” League” sent the following communication to the Council:
“We, the Verdum Citizens’ League, meeting on the 25th of June to discuss the suspension of Chief Dubeau of the Police and Fire Department of Verdun, wish to inquire if the cause of the suspension was due to an altercation or differences of opinion between the mayor and the chief, and why there should be so much delay in settling the matter?
“We would suggest to the Council that the continued suspension of the chief of police, for the reasons stated above, is not consistent with the dignity of the chief’s posilion or with the dignity ot tlte Council, and is holding the City of Verdun up to ridicule.
“We also remind the council that the police and fire department, under Chief Duheau’s command for the last fourteen years, has been efficiently organized and well conducted and a credit to the city, and we have been especially fortunate in the small percentage of crime.
“Further, we are of the opinion that as Mayor Dupuis is the complainant in this matter of the chief’s suspension he should, therefore, have no vote in deciding the issue, as under British fair play, a man cannot he both judge and accuser.
“Also, we are of the opinion that the inquiry into the unfortunate fire department accident would have been more satisfactory to the citizens of Verdun if it had been held in public, as promised and presided over by a neutral authority on fire department control.
“Finally, we would respectfully request that this matter of the suspension of Chief Dubeau be definitely decided at the next meeting of the council; and if the Chief of Police is not immediately reinstated in his position that full information and reasons be given to the citizens through the medium of the press, without further delay.
“We would also respectfully request that this letter be read at the council meeting of June 27.
“Yours respectfully, Verdun Citizens’ League, John Cooper secretary.” ’