Another major development in Canada's Norbourg Asset Management probe took place late last week when the Autorite des marches financiers (AMF) revealed that its enforcement chief had recently resigned amid political infighting, according to a Globe and Mail article.

Claire Lewis, who took over last year as enforcement officer of the agency, quit in mid-July according to AMF spokesman Philippe Roy. He said her departure was not related to AMF's probe of Montreal-based Norbourg. He also said that Nathalie Droulin, head of AMF's legal affairs branch, has taken over Lewis's duties until a replacement is found.

Ernst & Young has been appointed administrator of the firm as it tries to recover about $70 million in missing investor money. The company's president, Vincent Lacroix, has had his right to sell securities suspended but is cooperating with the recovery efforts.

But early investigations by the AMF into Norbourg were hampered by politics. An unidentified source said that the sudden departure of Lewis after only one year reflects the state of near-paralysis at the AMF.

"It was clear she wasn't being give any power," the source said. "The upstairs people interfere."

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