Montreal’s First Jewish Mayor Arrested for Fraud
It’s been quite a summer for Canadian politicians
It seems to be a salacious summer for Canadian politicians. Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford was allegedly seen smoking crack cocaine in a video leaked to Gawker and the Toronto Star. And the newest scandal, on June 17, Montreal’s interim Mayor Michael Applebaum was arrested at his home. He has only been in office since November 2012, but there are 14 bribery related charges against him.
The New York Times reports:
On Monday, the police said Mr. Applebaum’s arrest related to two real estate deals between 2006 and 2011 in the largely English-speaking Montreal borough of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dâme-de-Grace, a period during which he served as that borough’s mayor. The anticorruption police squad raided the borough’s offices in February.
The previous mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay, stepped down due to the illegal fundraising corruption charges that he faced. In the wake of Tremblay’s resignation, Applebaum had pledged to rid the city of corruption during his own term, Reuters reports. But he’s being accused of doing quite the opposite:
Police said Applebaum was charged with fraud, breach of trust, conspiracy, municipal corruption and secret payments. The amounts of money allegedly involved run into several tens of thousands of dollars.
JTA reports that Saulie Zajdel was arrested on June 17 as well. He is being charged with five corruption-related crimes. Zajdel is also Jewish. He was a former Conservative candidate in the 2011 federal election.
Zajdel was a Montreal city councillor from 1986 to 2009. He also served as a director of the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation for more than four years.
After his defeat, Zajdel took a position as an advisor to Heritage Minister James Moore in 2011, but suddenly left the job in 2012, CBC News reports. For now, there are a slew of differing opinions about Applebaum’s innocence, and about his next move:
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois says Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum should step down following his arrest this morning.
City Coun. Marvin Rotrand told Quebec’s call-in program Radio Noon that he believes the mayor is innocent, but said the arrest will likely end his political career.
Not the best day for Montreal’s first Jewish mayor.