|Sylvain Lussier. (SIMON CLARK/QMI Agency)
MONTREAL - Sylvain Lussier, chief counsel at Quebec's corruption inquiry, announced his resignation Tuesday after a paving firm he represented was raided by police.
Lussier worked for Asphalte Desjardins in 2008, a company that was one of several firms raided by anti-corruption investigators on Tuesday.
The lawyer had not been questioning witnesses during the corruption inquiry, leaving the task to deputy counsel.
It was not immediately clear if his absence was related to media reports about his former client that date back to August.
"As you know, some doubts have been raised about me regarding possible appearances of conflicts of interest due to old files unrelated to the commission's mandate," he wrote in a letter sent to Commissioner France Charbonneau on Tuesday afternoon.
"After careful consideration, even if these doubts are unfounded, factual or legal, it seems that the public interest will be better served if I resign as chief prosecutor."
Commissioner Charbonneau, a Superior Court judge, said she accepted Lussier's resignation "with regret."
Lussier gained notoriety in 2005 when he represented the federal government during the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal.
Perhaps his most colourful line of questioning at Gomery came when he waved an envelope stuffed with looseleaf paper to simulate a cash handout.
Lussier later represented Asphalte Desjardins in Superior Court in a case against construction magnate Tony Accurso, whose firms have been cited for tax fraud.