Applebaum To Face 14 Charges

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum faces 14 charges, including fraud and conspiracy, Quebec’s anti-corruption police confirmed Monday morning.

Applebaum was arrested at his home and taken to the headquarters of the Sûreté du Québec early Monday.

At the UPAC press conference held at 10 a.m., the anti-corruption squad outlined the charges against Montreal’s interim mayor.

According to UPAC chief Robert Lafreniere, the charges against Applebaum are related to two real estate deals in the Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough dating back to 2006.

Former city councillor Saulie Zajdel, from Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough, and the borough’s former director of permits, Jean-Yves Bisson, were also arrested Monday.

Zajdel was a member of Montreal’s city executive committee in charge of urban planning under former mayor Pierre Bourque. He then joined Gérald Tremblay’s Montreal Island Citizens Union party (later called Union Montreal) for the 2001 megacity election. He served as a city councillor in Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough under Applebaum, who was mayor of the borough until this past November, and his Union Montreal team until he left municipal politics in 2009.

Bisson initially worked under former borough permits director, Robert Rousseau, who committed suicide several hours after he was interrogated by UPAC in March.

Applebaum, 50, is just the latest Quebec mayor to be arrested by the anti-corruption unit.

Gilles Vaillancourt, the former longtime mayor of Laval, was arrested in a sweep last month and charged with fraud and gangsterism.

Applebaum was elected by Montreal’s city council to serve as interim mayor after Gérald Tremblay stepped down last fall amid corruption allegations.

Montreal’s next municipal elections are scheduled to take place in November.

In February, UPAC raided Montreal city hall, as well as six other borough offices. The Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce borough was among those targeted.

JAN RAVENSBERGEN OF THE GAZETTE AND THE CANADIAN PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT

By The Montreal Gazette

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