Montreal mayor arrested in corruption probe
Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum was arrested Monday and due to be questioned by the Canadian province`s anti-corruption unit, according to a source close to the investigation.
Montreal: Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum was arrested Monday and due to be questioned by the Canadian province`s anti-corruption unit, according to a source close to the investigation.
His arrest comes amid a corruption probe that has shaken Quebec`s largest city for more than a year and that led a previous mayor to resign in November.
Quebec`s anti-corruption squad in February raided Montreal city hall, asking employees to leave the building as they searched through files.
Officials with the anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC, said it had gathered evidence of alleged fraud and breach of trust there, as well as at eight other locations, including the offices of several boroughs.
Montreal`s then mayor Gerald Tremblay resigned in November after witnesses in a corruption probe linked him to an alleged mafia scheme, in which his party allegedly received kickbacks from construction bids, and said the mayor was aware of illegal party financing and campaign spending.
The commission, headed by Superior Court Justice France Charbonneau, is investigating alleged graft, bid-rigging and kickbacks in the awarding of government construction contracts in the Canadian province.
Applebaum, a former real estate agent and Montreal`s first English-speaking mayor in more than 100 years, was chosen for the post following Tremblay`s resignation.
Authorities said that also arrested with Applebaum was an ex-Montreal city councilor and former member of the city`s executive committee, Saulie Zajdel.
A former Liberal, Zajdel defected to the Conservative party because of the strong pro-Israel stance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
A third arrested politician, Jean-Yves Bisson, is a former borough manager in Cote-des-Neiges-Notre Dame de Grace, where Applebaum served as mayor for a decade.