31 March 2017
Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum was sentenced by Quebec court Judge Louise Provost to 1 year in prison and 2-year probation.
In her sentence, Judge Provost said, “But the crime is serious because it has an element of corruption. This reprehensible behaviour violates the fundamental values of our society.” Applebaum’s lawyer Pierre Teasdale told reporters the sentence was “in accordance with what we might have expected.”
Applebaum served as interim mayor of Montreal between November 2012 and June 2013, when he was arrested.
27 January 2017
Michael Applebaum promised to clean up the corruption in Montreal municipality when he became the Mayor of Montreal. Applebaum has now been accused of taking bribes amounting to $60,000 from contractors for two projects – a student residence and an aquatic centre. This happened between 2007 and 2010 when he was mayor of the very large Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.
In 2012 when then Mayor Gérald Tremblay resigned, Applebaum surprised many by winning a vote taken among the sitting councillors to become interim mayor. He lasted only seven months as the mayor. He was Montreal’s first Jewish Mayor.
He has been found guilty of eight criminal charges including breach of trust and fraud against the government by Quebec court Judge Louise Provost. The conviction was based mainly on the evidence given by his former aide and chief of staff, Hugo Tremblay.
Tremblay said Applebaum introduced him to illicit fundraising. He led developers and businessmen to believe their projects would be delayed or not approved unless they made a supplemental cash contribution. The money was then split with Applebaum. Tremblay even wore a wire to attempt to record Applebaum’s confession. Two developers also testified about giving cash to Tremblay, saying they believed it was destined for Applebaum, even if it wasn’t explicitly stated.
The Crown had five witnesses and the judge has decided that all witnesses were both credible and reliable.
During the proceedings, Applebaum fainted once when the judge was talking about the wiretap statements. But he recovered soon.