Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum arrested for corruption

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Michael Applebaum, the current interim mayor of Montreal, Québec, Canada, was arrested at about 6am local time (1000 UTC) yesterday morning by the Unité permanente anticorruption ((en))French language: ‍Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit on fourteen charges including corruption, fraud, breach of trust, and conspiracy, including reportedly a C$50,000 bribe.

File photo of Michael Applebaum in 2009.
Image: abdallahh.

Commissioner Robert Lafrenière said the alleged illegal acts occurred between 2006 and 2011 and relate to two real-estate projects in the Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough. The CBC indicated one of these projects was the borough's new 15 million dollar sports complex. Applebaum is now one of several Québec mayors who have been accused of corruption in the past few years, including the previous Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay and Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.

Several politicians are calling on Applebaum to resign, including Québec Premier Pauline Marois, to let the city continue on with its affairs. A few others, such as Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault, are suggesting to put the city on a trusteeship as Laval was a few weeks ago, but Municipal Affairs Minister Sylvain Gaudreault says this will not happen, as only a few people are implicated, unlike Laval, where nearly the entire city council was implicated.

Two other people were arrested on charges related to the same real-estate deals: Saulie Zajdel, former city councillor, on five charges; and Jean-Yves Bisson, a bourough official, on four charges.

A second interim minister is to be nominated for the rest of Tremblay's term, until the next municipal election is held in November.