Two people testified on the seventh scheduled hearing in the case of Montreal’s municipal housing authority (OMHM) versus Daniel Palladini. The OMHM is trying to evict Mr.Palladini because it says he has caused too much trouble with his questioning of how some $16,000 of two tenants associations funds were spent. Palladini, who has lived at the OMHM's Manoir Roger Bernard for some ten years, was the charter founder of the associations
The plaintiff finished presenting its case in the morning with its last witness, Sylvie Marchand, who was general manager of Palladini’s residence during the incidents being examined. Danny Palladini testified and was cross-examined for the rest of the day.
“I recognize the enormous amount of work that this has taken up to now, but I’m asking both parties again whether this can’t be solved in another way,” said Commissioner Rosario Nobile, just prior to the last recess at 3 p.m.
Both parties have good reasons to consider settling. If he loses, Palladini faces eviction from the Manoir Bernard, a subsidized senior’s residence in Pierrefonds.
On the other hand, if the OMHM fails to evict Palladini, all the hours it spent preparing the action will have been wasted, tenants who complained will be dissatisfied, and other tenants may speak up more readily about administrative issues with the para-municipal organization in future.
Marchand complained of receiving too many notes and of 15 emails about needed repairs. She said those should have gone through the call centre. She also complained of what she said were "hundreds" of extra hours of work caused by the case since January 2010 and of the publicity the case has received, specifically mentioning The Suburban and 24 Heures.
She also complained of the disruption of the work of the tenants’ associations. Manoir Roger Bernard has two such associations, the Manoir Roger Bernard Tenants Association, which is registered under NEQ 3367019208 and the Manoir Roger Bernard Pool, which is registered under NEQ 3366664822. Of the complaints about Palladini included in evidence, some came from three current directors of these associations, and many of the others were former directors.
At one point, Commissioner Nobile tried to explain what he would be ruling on in his decision in response to some of Mr.Palladini's complaints. “The regie has no competence in any other problem, it only has competency in the issue of a lease” he said. “Whether you have recourse or a right elsewhere, that has nothing to do with me. They’re complaining about the way you behave with other tenants and with the office. Whether you’re right or wrong has nothing to do with this action; it’s your behaviour that’s at issue.”
In trying to defend himself, Palladini frequently mentioned tenants who weren’t present to defend themselves. Each time, he was ruled out of order by Nobile.
“The kind of unproven comments here are difficult to defend against,” said Palladini. “A lot of these people have been influencing one another and misinforming Madame Marchand. I have been perceived as a real old grumpy guy. I have been verbally abused. One of the witnesses physically abused me.”
When cross-examined about that incident, which occurred on October 16, 2010, Palladini found in his files a letter he sent to OMHM management. He said that no one ever investigated his complaint.
Near the end of the day, Palladini expressed regret, sadness and frustration.“I should have behaved like 99% of the other people and showed no concern over the financials of the association,” he said. “It may be costly, but I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t want to be involved in the association anymore."