Connect to share and comment

Michael Applebaum, Montreal mayor, resigns

Montreal’s interim mayor has resigned, saying he needs to focus on defending himself against corruption charges.

Clone of Michael applebaum montreal mayor arrestEnlarge
Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum arrives at the provincial police headquarters shortly after his arrest on June 17, 2013. (Jérémie Battaglia /AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Applebaum, Montreal’s beleaguered interim mayor, has resigned, saying he needs to focus on defending himself against corruption charges.

Applebaum was arrested by members of Quebec’s anti-corruption squad, UPAC, yesterday and charged with 14 criminal counts of fraud, corruption and bribery.

The charges are related to two real estate projects in the Cote-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough developed between 2006 and 2011, while Applebaum was mayor of the borough. An ongoing investigation has uncovered tens of thousands of dollars in bribes paid as part of deals to build a sports center and a condo project, the Globe and Mail reported.

More from GlobalPost: Inside Montreal’s mafia wars

Applebaum denied that he was guilty at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. "I want to be clear that I have never taken a penny from anybody," he said. "I would like to tell Montrealers that I love them, that I understand their frustration, their deception and cynicism with the political climate of the last few years."

Applebaum replaced Mayor Gérald Tremblay in Nov. 2012, when allegations of corruption forced Tremblay to resign.

Montreal must now find another interim mayor to keep the seat warm until the Nov. 3 municipal election.

More from GlobalPost: Michael Applebaum, Montreal mayor, arrested and charged with corruption

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/130618/michael-applebaum-montreal-mayor-resigns