Interim Montreal mayor quits after fraud arrest
MONTREAL — For the second time in less than a year, a Montreal mayor has stepped down amid corruption scandals ripping through Canada's second-largest city.
Interim Mayor Michael Applebaum came into office vowing to clean up government. He resigned on Tuesday, a day after his arrest on fraud charges. Applebaum denied the accusations and said he needs to focus on fighting them.
Montreal's first English-speaking mayor in a century took over in November when Gerald Tremblay resigned amid corruption allegations. Applebaum faces 14 charges, including defrauding the government and corruption in municipal affairs.
“I want to be clear that I have never taken a penny from anybody,” Applebaum said at a news conference, where he didn't take questions.
A high-profile public inquiry in Quebec has uncovered links between the construction industry and organized crime.
Officials have offered few details on the charges against Applebaum but said they relate to real estate projects between 2006 and 2011, when he served as borough mayor.
After his arrest on Monday, local politicians and the provincial government called on him to step down.
The Quebec government urged city councilors to ensure a smooth transition as they choose someone to run the city until the next election, set for November. Applebaum had already promised not to run.
Anti-corruption officials raided City Hall in February. They also targeted offices in various boroughs, including the one Applebaum represented for many years.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.