A small-town mayor could face criminal charges after he delivered an unwelcome birthday present to his ex-wife: a 20-ton boulder, topped with a pink ribbon, dumped on her front lawn
Dany Lariviere, mayor of St-Theodore-d'Acton, delivered the not-so-happy birthday gift over the weekend to Isabelle Prevost — with whom he divorced last year after a decade of marriage.
The giant stone was spray-painted with the message, "Happy birthday, Isa."
Lariviere owns an excavation company. He said he used one of his own front-end loaders to transport the rock through the town streets in the wee hours Saturday.
He jokingly compared it to a giant diamond ring. He said his ex-wife always wanted one, and he described his "present" in one newspaper interview as 18-to-24 "carat-tons."
"I brought what we call a big rock to my ex-wife," Lariviere later added in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"I took a rock from one of my quarries and I brought it to her place with a little message and a nice ribbon, just like a real gift."
The mayor notes that his ex-wife has filed complaints with authorities over his financial dealings. She also told a local newspaper that she was worried about the safety of the couple's two children.
In turn, he successfully fought to retain shared custody. And, accusing his ex-wife of harassing him, Lariviere has also complained to police about her.
Police said they asked him to remove the rock; he was apparently reluctant to comply.
"He didn't want to move it after the woman filed a complaint with Quebec provincial police," said police spokesperson Sgt. Valerie Bolduc.
Lariviere said Monday he was indeed willing to clear the lawn — but he accused his ex-wife of harassing him and said that, before taking any action, he wanted a guarantee she would stop.
As he made his way to meet with investigators on Monday afternoon, Lariviere described to The Canadian Press how he managed to transport the giant boulder.
During the delivery, he was stopped twice by police who asked him for identification and questioned what he was doing.
"I told them the truth — that I was delivering a gift," Lariviere said. "They weren't able to stop me because what I was doing wasn't illegal."
In a town of only a few hundred residents, Lariviere's present did not remain a secret for long.
But where big-city politicians might recoil from having their personal matters become the talk of the town, Lariviere said he had nothing to hide from his constituents.
"It's a small area; everyone knows each other," he said. "For those who know me, I won't have any trouble explaining myself. I'm not worried it will affect my duties as mayor."