A reputed mafia don, Vito Rizzuto, has been summoned to appear before the Charbonneau Commission that is investigating corruption in Quebec. Quebec police were able to serve Rizzuto a subpoena on November 19 in Montreal. Rizzuto seems to have been in hiding since he returned to Canada in October after being released from prison in the US. Many believe that Rizzuto is head of the Sicilian mafia in Canada. Sgt. Claude Dennis of the Quebec provincial police only confirmed that Rizzuto was met and the subpoena served.
Rizzuto was known once as Montreal's 'teflon don' because of his ability to avoid prosecution. His name has come up several times during discussion of corruption in Quebec's construction industry. Earlier testimony described how construction officials would collude to decide who would win which public contracts and at what price. The Rizzuto family would receive a 2.5 percent cut of the contracts. Lino Zambito, a former vice-president of a construction firm, gave testimony that Rizzuto once mediated a conflict between Tony Accurso, a construction magnate, and Transport Quebec. RCMP videos, presented before the commission, show executives handing over stacks of money to Rizzuto's father.
During the period Vito was in jail in the US serving an 8-year sentence for his role in killing three mafia lieutenants in New York, the family suffered setbacks in Montreal Many of his friends and family disappeared .His son Nick Rizzuto Jr. was gunned down on a Montreal street in 2009. His father, Nicolo Rizzuto Sr., was shot in his home by a sniper the next year Many of his associates are behind bars.
It remains to be seen how cooperative Rizzuto will be. In 1974 the Cotroni-Violi family that the Rizzutos supplanted, were uncooperative in an earlier inquiry into Quebec corruption and organized crime. Then boss, Paolo Violi, told the inquiry: "I don't refuse to testify. I have a lot of respect for the court but I don't have anything to say." The court was not impressed and he was sentenced to a year in jail for contempt of court. Several Quebec politicians have resigned during the investigation including the mayor of Montreal.