MONTREAL — Michael Applebaum, Montreal's anti-corruption interim mayor, has been arrested and faced with 14 charges including fraud and conspiracy.
Applebaum, who had campaigned on a promise to clean up city hall, was arrested at his home early Monday morning on charges related to his time as Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace's borough mayor.
The counts against him include defrauding government, abuse of confidence, and corruption, and have to do with a series of corrupt real estate projects that reportedly took place between 2006 and 2011.
"The message is clear: all actions which compromise the integrity of the state are unacceptable," said Robert Lafreniere, the head of Quebec's Permanent Anti-corruption Unit, or UPAC. "The corruption and collusion will no longer be tolerated. No one is above the law."
The interim mayor — the city's first anglophone leader in 100 years — took over from Gerald Tremblay, who resigned over an in-depth corruption probe that found connections between the city's organized crime and construction businesses, in November 2012.
Several local and provincial politicians have called for Applebaum to resign in the wake of his arrest, calling him a "bad apple" and appealing to him to do the "responsible thing."
"The rotten apples, they’ll be taken out," said Denis Coderre, a federal politician and Montreal mayoral candidate. "But we can’t put everyone in the same basket."
Applebaum had already promised not to run in the upcoming November 1 elections.
Applebaum's arrest comes as Rob Ford, the mayor Canada's first-biggest city Toronto, is under ongoing allegations that he has smoked crack cocaine.