Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum was arrested on fraud charges early Monday at his home by Quebec’s anti-corruption unit.
The interim mayor, who vowed to clean up the corruption scandals plaguing the city, is now facing 14 charges that include defrauding government, abuse of confidence and corruption, according to Commissioner Robert Lafreniere.
He took over as interim mayor of Canada’s second-largest city last November after former mayor Gerald Tremblay resigned amid corruption allegations, The Associated Press reported.
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"The corruption and collusion will no longer be tolerated," Lafreniere said. "No one is above the law and you cannot hide from the law."
The charges stem from alleged acts that occurred before Applebaum became mayor. While officials offered few details, they said they relate to real estate projects between 2006 and 2011 when he served as borough mayor.
Applebaum, 50, had promised not to run in the upcoming election, slated for this November. But his appointment was enough to make history: he became the first Anglophone mayor of the city in exactly 100 years.
Signs of trouble arrived soon afterward.
Anti-corruption officials raided Montreal’s city hall last February. They also targeted offices in various boroughs, including the one Applebaum represented for many years.
Applebaum’s arrest comes just a month after Gilles Vaillancourt, the former longtime mayor of neighboring Laval, was arrested on corruption charges.
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The provincial police allege that the city hall Vaillancourt led was essentially a criminal organization, with officials there allegedly enriching themselves off local construction deals.
In Canada's Ontario province, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been accused of smoking crack in a video.
The video has yet to be released publicly and Ford denies the allegation, saying it is "absolutely not true."
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